The PeaceTones Initiative


In developing countries, intellectual property laws and their enforcement can often be quite weak. Moreover, many artists and musicians, particularly those from disadvantaged areas, are unaware of the rights they may have, how to protect these rights, or how to seek redress if these rights are disrespected. This lack of awareness often leads to missed economic opportunity because of an inability to protect intellectual property rights.

Program Summary

To address this issue, the Internet Bar Organization led the Peace Tones Initiative, an effort to improve the economic prospects of musicians from disadvantaged areas through empowering them to create, protect, and sell their music throughout the world. Through the initiative, artists are trained on their legal rights and marketing techniques to distribute their work internationally.


The PeaceTones Initiative helped to produce four albums: PeaceTones Brazil, PeaceTones Haiti, PeaceTones Sierra Leone, and PeaceTones Fair Trade Music Presents Wanito. As a result of this initiative, Ato Pereferico, one of the artists on the PeaceTones Brazil album originally from the favela of Recife, was invited to perform at Carnival. Wanito, one of the artists from Haiti, has emerged as one of Haiti’s most popular performing artists and as a respected voice in Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. PeaceTones has demonstrated the economic value of intellectual property rights to musicians in developing countries, helping to create a truly global marketplace through which musicians in low-income, post-conflict or post-disaster communities can sell their music to world markets online, keep the majority of profits from their music, and return a portion of their profits to their communities.


Led by the Internet Bar Organization (IBO), the PeaceTones Initiative established a collaborative partnership between musicians, online businesses, lawyers, ADR professionals and NGOs. Additionally, IBO partnered with OpenWorld, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting the development of sustainable business models.

Project Details

Program Status:

Program Type:Grantee

Region:Latin America & Caribbean

Program Countries:Haiti, Sierra Leone and Brazil

Dates:January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Rule of Law Index Factors: Order and Security (Factor 5), Regulatory Enforcement (Factor 6), and Civil Justice (Factor 7).

Issue Areas: Arts and Culture, Business, Education, and Media.