MusicTT hosts 'Making a Living from Music' Workshop

Caption: A cross-section of the audience present at the workshop. (Photo courtesy the Ministry of Trade and Industry)

April 12, 2017: Delivering Welcome Remarks on behalf of Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee- Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry to approximately two hundred and fifty (250) attendees at the Trinidad and Tobago Music Company (MusicTT) Workshop themed, “Making a Living from Music” on Thursday 6 April, 2017, Permanent Secretary (Ag.) Ms. Frances Seignoret, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) expressed her distinct pleasure to be a part of the opening ceremony. This workshop which was hosted at Cascadia Hotel, was a collaborative effort involving the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and MusicTT, a subsidiary of CreativeTT – a State Enterprise under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In her opening statement, the Acting Permanent Secretary stated that, “the creative sector has been identified in the Government’s Official Policy Framework and the National Development Strategy 2016-2030 (Vision 2030) as a priority area in the country’s economic diversification thrust, as it possesses the necessary ingredients to penetrate international markets, generate employment and earn foreign exchange.”

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has as one of its mandates to develop globally competitive businesses; and expand exports, particularly in the Non-Energy sector. The State Enterprise under the Ministry – The Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries Limited (CreativeTT) and its subsidiary MusicTT therefore have a pivotal role to play in preparing the local creative sector for export. 

The Acting Permanent Secretary alluded that, “we are cognisant of the projections of Price Waterhouse Coopers that revenue from the global Music Industry is expected to grow from US$42.93 Billion in 2015 to over US$47.7 Billion in 2020.”

In February 2017, MusicTT hosted a Workshop on “The Business of Calypso, featuring Calypso Rose”. Reference was made to Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry’s Featured Address, regarding the a significant gap in matters relating to Intellectual Property, where she indicated that “those wanting to make a career in the Music Industry, including songwriters, singers and producers must be well-versed with assessing the value of their intellectual property and must use mechanisms to protect these assets to ensure their rightful income streams”.

Also delivering welcome remarks on behalf of the Honourable Faris Al-Rawi, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs was Permanent Secretary (Ag.) Ms. Ingrid Seerattan, Ministry of Attorney General and Legal Affairs (AGLA) who, referring to the proposed Intellectual Property (IP) strategy said, “I am pleased to restate what is obvious that we have one of the most robust IP systems in the entire Caribbean. Take for instance the development of an Intellectual Property Strategy, which was also facilitated by WIPO utilising a local consultant. The draft IP Strategy is before my Ministry. It is also being reviewed by the Economic Advisory Board.”

The Acting Permanent Secretary indicated that, “besides the office being a net generator of revenue having earned $18.7M in gross revenue from 1995-2005 and $48.8M in gross revenue from 2006-2015, the IPO has the task of promoting inventiveness in the society. Last week Friday the AGLA signed a MOU with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) to cooperate in IP affairs. The IPO will provide the back end support for UTT's entrepreneurship incubator and this is where the next great ideas can be borne grown and exploited.”

Dr. Dimitier Gantchev, Deputy Director, Copyright Infrastructure Division, Copyright and Creative Industries Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland in his opening remarks stated that, ‘I am happy to be in the homeland of the steelpan. Trinidad and Tobago is a credible and active partner to the WIPO in its international activities of Intellectual Property (IP). The WIPO is trusted with the task of sensitizing persons on the role of IPO and with harmonizing the intellectual legal framework of Intellectual Property.  We are lucky to be in these times where IP is a big issue for everyone. It has come in the main stream of the policy debate. Today, IP is no longer confined to lawyers and Intellectuals. It is of interest to everyone because it concerns everyone. The demand for IP is rising. There is 7% growth in our registration systems which indicate that businesses use more IP. There is a demand for this kind of protection because it generates income for everyone and it is the currency of the future knowledge economy.’

Other presenters included, Dr. Vanus James, Professor at the University of Technology, Kingston, Jamaica, Ms. Shiveta Sooknanan, Legal Officer II, Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. David Stopps, Managing Director, Friars Management Limited (FML) and International Artists Agency, Aylesbury, United Kingdom. 

The agenda for the two day workshop addressed issues such as the Creative Industries as a Factor of Economic Development in Trinidad and Tobago and the World; Income Streams from Copyright and Related Rights for Authors and Artists; Music Publishing and Contact Negotiation; Branding; Music in Film, Television, Advertising and Video Games; and how to Monetize and Give an Added Value to Music via the Internet, among other topics.




For further information please contact:

The Corporate Communications Unit

Ministry of Trade and Industry



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