Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 22nd 2014 Contents A39
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
personal issues that arise from copyright
protections in the very muddled situation
that Carnival has made of rights and
I heard that elderly masman, an indi-
vidual in every sense of the word, some-
one who designed, built and performed
his singular masquerade very year, grap-
pling with one of the great Catch-22s
of the modern Carnival era, the role of
the NCBA in convening the event and
For those who don t follow the minu-
tiae of Carnival governance, the
National Carnival Bandleaders Associ-
ation is the only body of bandleaders
formally recognised by the NCC and by
extension, the Government of T&T.
There are two other bandleader asso-
ciations, both of which exist in polar
opposition to the NCBA, but at Carnival,
in order to parade and compete, all of
their members must be members of the
NCBA to cross the judging points.
That means that for at least one
critical week out of each year, the
NCBA can, with absolute accuracy,
point out that its membership con-
sists of every bandleader in T&T.
There is, therefore, no reason for
the NCC to recognise any other
coalition of bandleaders. Joseph
Heller would be impressed, I think.
It was somewhere around this
time that I realised that I wasn t
taking notes about what was being
I was writing what was running
through my head, and it wasn t
Eventually, I crossed the wall
between reporting and participating
to point out, rather sharply, some-
thing I ve written about before at
greater length (http://ow.ly/zmYZK
and http://ow.ly/zmYyc), the thor-
ough destruction of the public
record of Carnival over two decades
through a blunt force application
of copyright principles that are, at
The short version goes like this.
Twenty years ago bandleaders
decided to levy a "copyright fee"
on the publication of magazines
featuring their Carnival costumes.
Publishers capitulated, declining to
pursue any potential that a case
upholding the public interest value
of such documents might have held.
Instead, they began to craft
magazines that would sell better,
in order to recoup the added costs.
Now, a Carnival magazine fea-
tures cover-to-cover bikini-clad
babes and little else, recording little
beyond the frontlines of the most
I have a theory that today s Car-
nival is the result of two decades
worth of a public record that seeks
the sexy and skimpy. We get the
Carnival that we see.
Copyright is not just a right, it
As a tool of intellectual property
protection, it returns the value of
creation to authors, but guided by
minds clouded by short-term prof-
it, it has already proven to be a
destructive power to suppress.
I exercise my copyright quite
robustly, but not without consid-
But I ve found it s pointless
chasing after every fete promo for
a boat ride and there s little value
to be had in attempting to extract
cash from students hoping to
improve their academic papers.
Not all value is enumerated in
money, and the loss of such value
is often felt quite sharply in ways
that can be surprising.
For Carnival, that loss has been
If we aren t careful in our delib-
erations of both the impact and
power of copyright licensing in the
festival, we stand a good chance
of razing what s left to the ground
and salting its remains.
Continued from Page A38
Copyright fees for bandleaders create ripple effect
Scammers are using the MH17
disaster in east Ukraine to spread
objectionable links, online security
experts have warned.
A link to a pornographic website
disguised as a video of the Malaysia
Airlines crash was posted on a
Facebook page dedicated to one
Many tweets have been posted
that appeared to report the disaster,
but actually included spam links.
One expert said the firms should
take more responsibility for remov-
The chief intelligence officer of
anti-spam body Spamhaus, Richard
Cox, said that it was common for
spammers to exploit anything being
discussed by a lot of people online.
"It is a fairly rapid and pre-
dictable response by the individuals
behind it. They are all to make
money. There is no compassion
involved," he said.
Cox added that the perpetrators
might be using software that could
detect what was being posted reg-
ularly and repost using the same
Twitter spammers exploit crash
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