|Is Jamaica’s music history dying out?|
|Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:14|
For countries around the world, libraries are not just a place to do homework. Because of its role as a crossroads for information and innovation, libraries often store and preserve the accomplishments of a people for future generations to come. But for Jamaica's most cherished artistic triumph – music – the legacy of its recording history may be in jeopardy.
The National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) reports that today's musicians and producers are failing to donate their work to their music database set aside for posterity. Between April 2009 and February 2012, only 243 CDs were deposited to the database, in contrast to 1100 books from the island's significantly smaller book publishing industry.
This is despite the Legal Deposit Act, which since 2004 encouraged the collection of creative, intellectual work at the NLJ to conserve the history of Jamaican art.
NLJ acquisitions librarian Valerie Francis believes one reason for the industry's hesitation to deposit recordings, beside general concerns about piracy, is the country's general attitude towards the library's role in music.
"For many in the music industry, a library is predominantly a collection of books," says Francis to the Jamaican Observer. "Therefore, calls for persons to make donations of audio-visual material are viewed with suspicion."
She however points out that the collection of music is vital "as we move to document the history of Jamaican music."
"One can get information from music in the same way that persons can gather information from books. CDs also carry liner notes which tell of the year it was published, musicians, producer, and studio at which it was recorded."
The NLJ data base also provides a crucial step towards regulating Jamaica's wild west of copyrights infringement. Artists defending their intellectual property can use their NLJ deposit in court to prove ownership.
"We need to get it across that the deposits are not for entertainment purposes, but rather for research purposes," says Francis.
|Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 10:54|