Soca artiste Mandella Linkz, real name Mandella Mc Donald, is set to take legal action against the United Labour Party (ULP) in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the unauthorised use of the recording Tombstone.
During the period 2019 to October 2020, the political party used ‘Tombstone’ as one of their theme songs without consent from the artiste and his management.
Mc Donald’s team has decided to proceed with legal action after the last correspondence sent to the ULP’s General Secretary in or about mid-October 2020 to negotiate an agreement for the song’s continued use was denied and subsequently dismissed.
Tombstone is one of Mandella Linkz’s most popular songs which has recently been featured in the 2020 film Pedal Through and gained him a spot in the 2019 International Soca Monarch finals in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Mandella should be rightfully, legally, and fully compensated for the use of his Intellectual Property as the party never obtained the relevant licenses, authorisation, and or permission to use ‘Tombstone’ at their Political Events,” stated Fabien Alfonso, Trinidadian-based Copyright and Related Rights consultant who is part of the artiste’s team.
Alfonso submits that the party infringed multiple rights:
- The Copyright of the Musical Work.
- Change or modification of the lyrics without the writer’s consent.
- The Rights of the Performer (Artiste).
- The Rights in the Sound Recording.
- Mandella’s personal interests observed as Moral Rights violations.
Alfonso continued, “All of the above are considered gross infringements on the part of any holder of Intellectual Property Rights and as a result, the Unity Labour Party should be held fully liable for said violations.”
A pre-action protocol letter is currently being drafted by Mandella’s attorneys to be delivered to the executive council of the ULP.
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