The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
By CARMEL PILOTTI
ONE of the region’s best-known song-writers and singers has suggested that Papua New Guinea music should have copyright laws enforced.
Laisa Vulakoro, who spent two years in PNG singing at a major hotel in Port Moresby, said local musicians needed to be rewarded for their work and that should be protected against piracy.
“Creative rights are lacking in PNG and only recently, artists and record companies have started carrying out public awareness on piracy,” she said.
Vulakoro, whose songs are widely sold in the Pacific Island countries, New Zealand and Australia, said piracy was a big problem that killed creativity.
“Some of us have not written any material for years because we are not getting anything out of it,” she said.
She said musicians in PNG should be rewarded for their original work and others should not benefit from it financially because it would kill the interest and enthusiasm of composers and songwriters.
Vulakoro is a director on the board of the Fiji Performing Right Association which regulates the Fijian music industry. It is affiliated to sister organisations in New Caledonia and Australia (the Australia Performers Rights Association).
The FPRA has been fighting for ages to reward Fiji’s composers for their work through royalties every time their music is used by businesses such as radio stations, for profit.
They recently celebrated a landmark court decision in Fiji in which a company was ordered to pay for original works by local artists it was using.