Get consent before using Stalin's music, image

ICON: Leroy
ICON: Leroy "Black Stalin" Calliste. - File Photo

THE family of the late calypso great Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste is calling on all organisations and people who are involved in the unauthorised use of his intellectual property, to stop this practice and get proper consent from his estate.

Failing this, they will face legal action.

This warning comes after there were reproductions from the autobiography: Black Stalin – The Caribbean Man, as well as products carrying his image, likeness and recordings.

His three albums: Message to Sundar, Just For You, and Roots Rock Soca, as well as songs such as Caribbean Man, We Can Make It, and Bun Dem, are among his rich legacy. Calliste died on December 28.

A legal letter sent from attorney Rondell Donowa on May 25, said while Calliste's family including widow Janet Patricia “Patsy” Calliste and children are appreciative of the “support and tributes” after his death.

However, they felt compelled to issue the statement after it was realised that “unauthorised individuals, organisations or entities” were profiting from the late calypsonian’s intellectual property.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines intellectual property as creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works; designs; symbols; names and images used in commerce.

The letter said, “We wish to emphasise that any use, reproduction, distribution, or sale of Black Stalin’s intellectual property, including but not limited to recordings, books, paraphernalia and related merchandise, must be done with proper authorisation from the family or the estate.”

Contacted for comment, Donowa said Calliste's estate was still in the process of being transferred.

“This authorisation is essential to uphold the integrity of Black Stalin’s legacy and to ensure that his work continues to be honoured and celebrated in a manner that aligns with the family’s values,” Donowa's letter added.

It also warned any organisation or person wanting to organise a tribute concert or event dedicated to Calliste's memory, that they too, must seek “explicit consent and authorisation” from Calliste's family or estate.

“This includes obtaining proper licenses, permits, and adhering to any conditions set forth by the family to protect the integrity of the late artist’s image, music and reputation,” it said. Those seeking consent were directed to contact Donowa.

It said intellectual property rights were crucial to protect the creative works and legacy of individuals, ensuring that their artistic contributions were respected and preserved.


"Get consent before using Stalin’s music, image"

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