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Belize Society of Composers, Artists, Publishers offers recommendations on the Trade Licensing Bill

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Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2022. 6:43 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Among other recommendations, The Belizean Society of Composers Authors Publishers (BSCAP) has recommended to the House Committee overseeing the Trade Licensing Bill that in the case of entertainers, it should be required that a license for public performance be obtained as a prerequisite for obtaining or renewing a trade license.

BSCAP says it is concerned that entertainers are being asked to pay a levy to legitimize their business, but fundamental aspects of intangible business assets, particularly copyright of music and other creative expressions have not been protected and thus music users are not licensed and otherwise in compliance with the Copyright Act passed in 2000.

Such a license, it says, “will ensure that creators are properly compensated for their creativity and is guaranteed to generate more revenue for the government as the artistic community pays associated government taxes.”

It does generally support the need as expressed by the Committee members for an increase in revenue to cover expenses associated with operation in municipalities and villages and to structure the industry and facilitate growth.

However, it does agree that more research and consultation should have been done by the Government to assess the needs of the creators and the viability of implementing and enforcing a license structure.

The Bill will have its second and third readings in Parliament once full consultation has been made.

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