Barbados’ highly respected calypsonian The Most Honourable Anthony Gabby Carter is demanding EC$40,000 in compensation from the Prime Minister of St Lucia Allen Chastanet.
Gabby is accusing the ruling United Workers’ Party (UWP) of Chastanet of using his copyrighted music for political advertisements without his authorisation during the ongoing general election campaign there. But the St. Lucian political entity says he has the wrong party.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the acclaimed calypsonian, folk singer, noted lyricist and composer, said it had been brought to his attention that the UWP was or is using his intellectual property in the form of his music “without the expressed permission of the composer or publisher.”
“I wish to disassociate myself from Allen Chastanet and the United Workers’ Party, who in no form or fashion align with the philosophical values that I represent,” the renowned artiste declared.
“Therefore, I am compelled to instruct Allen Chastanet and the United Workers’ Party to cease and desist from the use of any of [my] intellectual property and copyrighted music in any form for political advertising, motorcade or public meeting during the election campaign, including on the SKY FM 93.1 radio station frequency,” insisted the holder of an Honourary Doctorate from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.
“I am therefore seeking compensation of EC$40,000 for the usage of my music during this election campaign,” Gabby added.
In a separate, but brief interview, the prolific song writer/composer, told Barbados TODAY he will give PM Chastanet adequate time to answer his demands.
“We will give them time to respond. We are not going insist on tomorrow or next week or something like that. We will give them ample time to respond,” Gabby said.
“The artistes don’t have direct contact with whoever violates the rights or does something unauthorized like that. He [Chastanet] would more likely contact my lawyer and not me,” the multiple calypso monarch stated when asked if he had been in touch with the St Lucian leader.
He added: “There is no authorization given for my song to be in any campaign from either party.”
Gabby is also holding the name of the song close to his chest, saying it would be disclosed tomorrow.
But when contacted this afternoon by Barbados TODAY, Prime Minister Chastanet was adamant that his UWP is not the party using Gabby’s song in its political campaigning.
“Gabby is a gentleman I respect, but I think he has got the wrong party. So I think that he was misinformed,” stated the St Lucian leader.
Chastanet said while he has not been in contact with the Barbadian music maestro, others have been trying to reach him.
“I think there are people trying to reach out to him, but I can assure you that this is not our party…and the radio station he wrote to, I have nothing to do with the radio station. And as you would appreciate, any radio station that is operating is licensed and if they were using anybody’s music they would be covered under the copyright…the licensing,” the Prime Minister told Barbados TODAY.
“But certainly as a political party, we have not been using any of Gabby’s songs. Gabby is a great man and I respect him,” Chastanet reiterated.