the MC for the stage show was really funny. Mostly intentionally, and some unintentionally. Some of the humor was that kind that I don't really understand. Probably because I (as well as other audience members) was the butt of it. Making people uncomfortable can be funny - not that I was uncomfortable but I pretty much had no opinion on that aspect of the performance. It involved him going through the initially sparse audience and asking people's names, and then making fun of them. When he got to me, he asked my name, and on finding out my last name is Mann, he spent a minute or so pointing out that I was not a man, asking if my name was really Man, and asking if people said "hey, Man" to me. I said they did. that was that.
But to return to my topic - IP week concert highlights involving the MC were many. He definitely was committed to talking about IP and educating people on the need to register and claim their IP. His theme was --once you register, what happens? and he tried to start a catchphrase: "Ch-Ching!" (this refers to the sound of cash registers). Or later, he extended it, and said once you copyright it you become... Ch-Chingable. Now, the extension of this phrase and concept is interesting, because it involved the mental leap that IP proponents rely on which is assuming that creative works WILL be bought and WILL generate money for someone. This assumption is based in other assumptions:
1) that this is because creative works SHOULD generate money through their sale/license
a. because doing creative work is inherently valuable
-which ignores that some creative work may be crappy,
-let alone the idea --which many Jamaicans are comfortable with-- that some creative work is actively harmful to society
b. and maybe relies on the idea that good works WILL be in demand
-which assumes that a market will value works appropriately
So yeah, many, many artists I have spoken with make a critique of bad music which is popular these days, and they appear to mean bad in terms of content and the effect on public morals. In some other conversations, "bad"'s meaning has extended into poor music-making through being unoriginal or even sampling, but for the most part case people were talking about dirty, sexual, or occasionally violent lyrics. However, these are undeniably popular. Even though many people aren't paying for those dirty lyrics - at least not in terms of buying recordings (or they are buying bootleg DJ mixes of the hottest tunes), but they are definitely attending concerts, soundclashes and dances in order to enjoy them. So what is the market saying? In fact many musicians say that the market, or radios, or people, love this bad music..
Another interesting moment came from the MC commenting on a fashion show of clothing made out of garbage bags - where he said be sure to register your work, designers!
I don't think even in Jamaica fashion designs can be copyrighted, certainly in the US they are not.
He also told models that if they develop their own particular walk they should register that too. This - owning a walk- is also not possible, as far as I know.
But also, the re-appropriation of garbage bags as fashion was interesting. what exactly could be ownable there? Can we imagine an example where the garbage bag manufacturer might sue? If not, that's interesting too..