‘ There is only money in live music in Suriname’

de Ware Tijd, 2/8/2012

By Ewout Lamé

Paramaribo – The medley at the end of tonight’s Suripop festival is the source of the dispute between the festival’s organizers and copyright foundation Sasur. Should the medley include songs by composers who have an agreement with Sasur, the foundation will file a claim with Suripop.

The man trying to build a bridge between Suripop and Sasur is Siegfried Gerling, who is also secretary of Sasur. He will still participate in tonight’s festival, “to indicate that I am fighting for better rights for composers.” “I do not want a vendetta with Suripop, but Suriname needs to join the civilized world when it comes to this,” Gerling adds.

Stolen

Two songs composed by Gerling have won the festival in the past, and he has been fighting for the protection of Surinamese artists and their rights for years. “Suppose the entire world dealt with music copyrights the same way Suriname does; there would be no music industry at all,” Gerling says. “All music use in this country has been stolen, with the public as an an accessory after the fact and broadcasters as direct accomplices.” Media companies have been profiting “for generations” from the lack of copyright protection, Gerling adds.

Organizers should be dealt with

“I do not think about the financial aspects that much,” says 20-year-old Randall Veira, who will participate in Suripop for the first time, adding, “In this country, there is only money in live performances. In any case, it is not pleasant to hear your song on the radio knowing you will not be paid for it.” Veira has not heard from Sasur. Remarkably, Gerling does not approve of all his own foundation’s actions, saying, “Sasur cannot appeal to rights it does not have. Organizers who allow artists to perform songs they do not have the rights to should be dealt with.”

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