Local Vibes
May 14, 2004
Minister Baptiste warns music pirates

This country’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Rene Baptiste has issued a stern warning to music industry pirates to desist from their illegal activities or suffer the consequences.
This has come in response to cries from local calypsonians and soca artistes who have felt the brunt of persons who pirate their music and make thousands of dollars especially at carnival season.{{more}}
At a press conference on Thursday May 6, Baptiste said she is intent on not allowing this to happen this year. She also repeated the warnings last Saturday night at the launching of 2004 Carnival.
The Minister of Tourism said she has been advised that there are 10 pirate establishments in and around Kingstown that sell illegal copies of the music of Vincentian recording artistes.
“This is illegal. Frankly it is selling stolen goods so you are a thief just like anybody who walks into a supermarket, takes down a tin of corn beef, puts it under their clothes and attempts to walk out of the supermarket,” said Baptiste, a lawyer by profession.
She said her Ministry and the Carnival Development Corporation are appealing to the 10 known establishments who sell pirated copies of the artistes music to cease from doing so immediately.
Baptiste said it is well aware that some of the material is being sold in the face of the police and the establishments are not far from the Central Police Headquarters.
The Minister said an invitation will be sent out to the Commissioner of Police, CID, White Collar Crime Unit with permission from the Minister of Finance, to the Finance Intelligence Unit to pursue any ill gotten gains of any person who sells pirated copies of the music of Vincentian artistes.
Baptiste also appealed to disc jockeys to refrain from making copies and handing them over to the pirates.
In protest against the pirating of his music Ambassador Alston “Becket” Cyrus, a few years ago, refused to release his songs for the Carnival season.