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CC Workshop for Musicians in Vanuatu


Singaot Musik Kamp
Cristina Panicali / CC BY-NC

The first-ever CC Workshop in Melanesia was held on October 23rd in Port Vila, Vanuatu during the Singaot Musik Kamp, a two-week long residency program for musicians from the Pacific, Southern Africa, and Europe.

Singaot Musik Kamp is part of the Music Bridges project which aims to reinforce the creation and production of music industry in Vanuatu and Mozambique, engaging with diverse musicians from Melanesia and Southern Africa through music camps, festivals, and workshops. Around 70 musicians and experts in the music industry from Vanuatu and the Pacific region, Mozambique, Reunion Island, and Australia gathered to share experience, build networks, and to learn skills and strategies to promote their music.

Singaot Musik Kamp

Cristina Panicali / CC BY-NC

After the two weeks of festive live performances and jam sessions, musicians were invited to sit down together to discuss various topics such as distribution/promotion strategies and copyright, including Creative Commons licenses. Entitled “Music Industry Development & Rights,” the two-day training workshops were dedicated to discussing technical, managerial, and production skills and related issues for musicians, artists, and industry professionals to build careers and opportunities. As most of the participating musicians had very limited or no knowledge about copyright and music industry, it was especially meaningful to help them understand copyright system and learn how they can manage and exercise their right in a way they want.

Representatives from SOMAS – a collective management society from Mozambique – and a collective management society in Fiji introduced the concepts of copyright and collective management in general and discussed business strategies for musicians who wanted to promote their work and develop their careers.

The second day was dedicated to the introduction of CC licenses as the last session to wrap up the whole program. Around 50 people in the music field attended the workshop from Vanuatu and neighboring islands as well as Mozambique and Reunion Island in South Africa. Cristina Perillo from Fondazione Lettra27 opened the session as the moderator, welcoming the participants and introducing the structure and background of the workshop. I gave a presentation to introduce what the CC license is and how it works and to explain why it can be useful to musicians using some case studies. Some participants nodded when the presenters pointed out that sharing was what musicians (including those who were participating in the camp) had already been doing to get inspiration for their work and to meet and communicate with the audience, and that CC license could be useful as a way to meet broader audience and to promote one’s work.

Singaot Musik Kamp

Cristina Panicali / CC BY-NC

Luciano Mabrouck from Kom Zot, a band renowned as the pioneers of reggae made in Reunion, took part in the workshop as guest speaker to share his experience of the benefits of sharing. He introduced an interesting example where one of his band’s demo files were accidentally leaked to the public. Unexpectedly, it acted in the band’s favor: more people listened to and loved their music, resulting in increase in sales. The band and their management team did not take any action to stop people from sharing the files; rather they used it as an opportunity to communicate with fans, promote their music, and explore new opportunities. Luciano’s talk allowed the participants to have a better understanding of the benefits of what sharing and CC license can bring in a more practical way.

The last session was a group discussion where participants shared their views and questions with each other. They helped each other understand the new concepts and talked about challenges they would face when using CC license.

The workshop was a good opportunity to help musicians in the region have a better understanding of copyright and CC license and what sharing can bring to them. It was also meaningful in that it was the first-ever CC-related workshop in Melanesia, which I hope will lead to more CC stories in the region of vibrant culture and rich heritage in the future.

The music camp was the first part of the two-year-long project. Next year Music Crossroads will be the host to in Maputo, Mozambique.

Read a blog post by COSV to learn more about the event.

Posted 20 February 2014