Intellectual property laws in developing countries are often weak and many artists and musicians – particularly those from disadvantaged areas – are unaware of their rights and how to seek redress if their music is stolen. The PeaceTones Initiative empowered musicians to create, protect, and sell their music by training them on their legal rights and marketing techniques. The program produced four albums from Brazil, Haiti and Sierra Leone, raising the profile of local artists and demonstrating the economic value of implementing intellectual property rights in developing countries.
Intellectual property laws and their enforcement are often quite weak in developing countries. Furthermore, many artists and musicians, particularly those from disadvantaged areas, are unaware of the their rights, and how to protect these rights or seek redress if their rights are violated. This lack of awareness often leads to missed economic opportunities because of an inability to protect their intellectual property rights.
The PeaceTones Initiative was created by the Internet Bar Organization to address the issue of poor intellectual property laws. The PeaceTones Initiative is an effort to improve the economic prospects of musicians from disadvantaged areas by 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 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 and 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.
The PeaceTones Initiative 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, make a profit 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.