JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that consideration is to be given to amending the Copyright Act, to lengthen the amount of time that royalties are paid on artistic works after the death of an artiste.
“At present, royalties may be paid for up to 50 years after the death of an artiste. This period would be extended to 100 years in order that income may be generated from the work of an artiste as a songwriter after his passing for the benefit of the family,” Minister Grange said.
She was speaking at the thanksgiving service for late icon of the Rock Steady era, Alton Ellis OD, which took place on Monday (Nov. 3) at the St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk United Church in Kingston. “It is unfortunate that many early musical pioneers have passed on without full recognition and rewards for their work and that has to be changed,” Minister Grange stressed.
She said that Alton Ellis had left “a rich legacy, which he would want us to continue,” noting that his songs have transcended politics and class.
“As an artiste he gave his all and his talent cannot be replaced,” Minister Grange emphasised, stating further that, “Alton Ellis brought joy and pleasure to all Jamaicans from all walks of life, with songs like Tumbling Tears and Willow Tree. She wished for him a “beautiful flight” as “he flies away home to Zion.”
Veteran journalist, Ian Boyne, who delivered the remembrance, declared himself “the greatest Alton Ellis fanatic”. As Mr. Boyne passionately sang several of Ellis’ hits, he praised the philosophical depth of the messages in his work, adding that despite the fact that Ellis was from the inner-city, he rose above the “Rude Boy” culture.
Mr. Boyne emphasised that “Alton Ellis did not glorify badness, he did not toast dons and ‘shottas’, he used his music to speak out against negatives in society. Alton Ellis stood up against the takeover of violence, demonstrating that good can come from the inner-city.”
The ceremony was interspersed with musical tributes from celebrated rock steady musicians from London and Jamaica, including several of Ellis’ children. Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, nephew of the deceased, remarked that 18 members of the Ellis family were entertainers.
The musical tributes were well received by the singing and dancing congregation. Entertainers who performed included Boris Gardener, Tinga Stewart, Carlene Davis-Cowan, Joan-Andrea Hutchinson, Ken Boothe, Christopher Ellis, Alton Ellis Jr. and Dennis Alcapone.

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