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Soca Star Benjai�s �Trini� in COTT trouble (VIDEO)

One of the hottest songs for 2011 Carnival season may be pulled from rotation on radio stations over a copyright issue.

The Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) is seeking to contact Benjai (Rodney Le Blanc) since the rhythm used in the song, “Trini”, is the same one used in Singing Diane’s 1979 song “You Gotta Give Away”.

According to COTT Mechanical Lisencing Officer Enrico Camejo, Ed Watson, who wrote the original song, is looking to collect royalties from the use of the rhythm which was allegedly produced at the New York-based Art and Life Studios.

“Upon investigations, COTT has found that the Art and Life Studios took the recording, manipulated it, added pieces and made the rhythm without the clearance of the band leader and he has left it to us to take care of it,” he said.

The studio will have to pay damages totaling over US$6,000. If they are unable to do so, Benjai may have to pay these damages.

Camejo said the studio said Benjai is not signed with them, he did not pay them for anything and the rhythm was not made for him specifically. He said however if the composer is not compensated, radio stations will have to take the song off rotation.

“It is a beautiful song but the rights must be cleared so all could enjoy its benefits. COTT is of the stance that if samples of the original recording were used to make the rhythm, rights have to be cleared,” Camejo said.

He said the organisation is expected to attempt to contact Benjai by today. Newsday made attempts to contact the artiste but was told he is out of the country and not expected to return until Tuesday.

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Comment by Jason Taylor on January 15, 2011 at 9:04am
Man I dont see what the problem is. Cough up the 6000 and keep it moving.  You will make that back quick through perfomances and tours.  If that was America they would go after dude first born lol. U have to ask before using  ppl stuff bredren because your taking money out of ppl mouth.  Has nothing to do with taking down someone on top.  The song wicked still so my advice is show dem the money.
Comment by andy williams on January 15, 2011 at 4:07am
WE STILL PARTYING...STR8
Comment by Lisa E on January 13, 2011 at 7:19pm
Ahhh pay them themoney they found out now.  You are one of the best love ya music.  Thank you.
Comment by Tyrone davis on January 13, 2011 at 5:14pm
You cant use people's creation without their permission. Problem Child did it with Party Hard and got himself in trouble too.
Comment by Jam Central on January 13, 2011 at 4:36pm

I like Benjai's music and I think this song is an instant classic, however, we need to take care of our business first. If this article is accurate then Benjai should've cleared the rights to the song first. They may not have wanted $6000 US at the time because they would not have known of the songs popularity. Music doesn't have a pension plan so the only thing an artist/song writer/producer can rely on in is their royalties. And I'm sure if the song is in heavy rotation Benjai would want payment for it.

IMO $6000 for the rights to use a sample in a song that popular is not a bad deal, after he get's the okay, he'll get to collect royalties as well. The only way Soca will be respected as an industry is if we treat it like one...My two pennies

Comment by Patricia Bancroft on January 13, 2011 at 3:12pm
Steups....they always read to chop a man down when he on top
Comment by Carbon tha Turntablist on January 13, 2011 at 12:52pm
What metric do they use to figure this out scientifically? A bunch of old fellas assuming should never be legal grounds but in Trini - it is.

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