“I think the change from Ms. Straker as the ECCO Licensing Agent is a necessary and overdue change.”
Those were the words of CEO of Made in Grenada, Dexter Mitchell who was speaking in an interview with The New Today Newspaper on Tuesday following an announcement from the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) about the departure of Linda Straker as Agent for Grenada.
Straker, a freelance journalist on the island, was associated with ECCO for the past four years.
THE NEW TODAY understands that there was some “bad blood” in the relationship between the local agent and some of the people in the industry and Mitchell recently called for her removal.
A release from Mitchell in 2005 directed at Straker said in part: “I suggest you review your method of approach, seek to obtain some support from sectors of the entertainment fraternity – presently you don’t have the support of anyone here in Grenada – and if you find you cannot adequately represent the interest of the Local Creators, then kindly remove yourself from the process and allow ECCO to select someone who is eminently qualified to seek the interests of those it has set out to represent.
“…Again let me reiterate, the issue is not the value of copyright – what is in question is your method and approach and the fact that no one throughout the industry can legitimately say you represent their interests. Your bullying and scare tactics are hurting the creators and sullying the name of ECCO and its good intentions,” the release added.
The ECCO statement indicated that Straker has decided to discontinue her service to the organisation as Agent for Grenada in order “to devote more of her time to other business opportunities”.
When THE NEW TODAY contacted Mitchell on her departure, he said the requirements of the Industry in Grenada and its relationship with copyright require someone acknowledgeable and sympathetic to the plight of the industry.
This, he said was not being exercised by Straker.
Mitchell called on ECCO to select someone who can truly represent them in the future.
“ECCO would be best advised to carefully select someone with business acumen, knowledgeable about the music industry, with a personality that can win over persons to ensure all goals are attained,” he said.
According to Mitchell, as part of the selection process, ECCO should ensure that the person given the task understands the challenges within the local industry and the relationship existing between artistes, promoters, radio stations and other business places.
He hoped that the work of ECCO will now be “more constructive and less divisive and contentious” since the way ahead calls for “collaboration and understanding not threats and ignorance”.
He said if this is done then both ECCO and the industry will stand to benefit.
“With better collections (of royalty) and a better working relationship with the industry players, ECCO will be able to strengthen its position as a key part of the growth of the music industry here in Grenada,” Mitchell said.
The ECCO release noted that Wayne Green will remain as Director to Grenada, however, Mitchell also wants to see his removal as well.
“I am hopeful that there will also be a change of the Director of ECCO of Grenada. Based on the recent release his responsibility is mainly awareness and securing membership, both duties are woefully under-serviced,” he said.