Liberia: Musicians Cautioned to Claim Intellectual Property's Right

Monrovia — Liberian musicians have been admonished to uphold "the freedom of consciousness that the industry drives.

The call, according to Accountability Lab Country Representative, Lawrence Yealue comes in a time when musician's property rights are being violated on a daily basis.

"People ranging from the political offices, entrepreneur and some music managers are highly involved with piracy, which must stop," Yealue said.

He said those involved with the act of piracy often gain much from music while artists in the country remain underprivileged.

Addressing scores of musicians Tuesday, March 3, at the celebration of 'Music Freedom Day', Yealue noted that musicians must stand up to uphold the freedom of consciousness by registering their property rights.

By doing this, he said musicians will be highly protected, which could also help them make money.

He also believes, the music industry is losing consciousness because most living legends are often not celebrated.

"We need to promote all kinds of music, including traditional because Liberians are not being jailed for their messages.

Yealue further stated that the industry must be used to rebrand the desired changes Liberia deserves.

For his part, the Press Union of Liberia Secretary General Musa Kanneh said the need to freely speak, write and sing is a priority.

He said this should be done in line with the law.

However, according to Mr. Kanneh, censorship has deprived many of expressing themselves freely.

"There are few people with money in Liberia, while the majority have none, therefore citizens are often reduced to censorship," Kanneh averred.

According to him, the media and music industry are two sectors, when trampled, will lead to Liberia being in total darkness, noting that they must not be overlooked.

He further said that censorship has limited citizen's freedom of expression and musicians and media practitioners are under the obligation to ensure their rights are protected.

Kanneh then lauded members of the Liberian music industry for their creativity over the years as they celebrate World Music Freedom Day.

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