Jamaican dancers wants copyrights to their dance moves

Jamaica News: Dancers of Jamaica are strongly seeking ways to copyright their solo moves. This topic has been debated over the past couple of years, as more and more dancers embrace their talent and work to create a profitable business out of it.

Entertainment lawyer and former manager of copyright and allied rights at the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Joan Elizabeth Webley, said that

, “A lot of our Jamaican dances have African retention so it’s a little bit difficult to give individual copyright to a specific move because it’s likely that move borrows from something else that already exists. But if the copyright issues are going to change, it’s going to come through an industry effort. Shifts can occur and things can change but the only way that happened is if the case is made by the industry as a whole.”

Kool Ravers from the Ravers Clavers camp who made the dance ‘fling’ back in 2017 is saying that

“People have been telling me it looks like it (Fling) but it’s just something close and I should be careful. When I see dem pass the first variation (there are four variations of Fling) and into the other three throughout the entire commercial, me a say no man, this is definitely Fling,” he said. “Mi hear say is a man weh born in Jamaica do the choreography but him live overseas and when me hear dat, it just confirm fi me say a definitely Fling dem use. If the guy who choreographed it is said to be Jamaican, what more proof you need.”

“We need to try and see as an industry how we can clamp down on things like these and we affi start by securing our creations in law. I don’t think I’m the first person this happen to and I know I won’t be the last. Me know say Fling did a go big and I wished that there was something in law to say that if yuh use this move or any variation of it, you’re breaking the law. I been searching and all I been hearing is that it (licensing) a dance move is difficult to do. I don’t know if anyone has ever done it before, but it shouldn’t be so hard. Dancehall could really benefit if the creations were being protected. There is a lot of money being generated from our culture every year and dancehall is still not benefiting,” he said.

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