Jamaica officials, creative types hold reggae conference

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaican government officials, lawyers and creative types have held a reggae conference to hash over ways of securing a competitive advantage with the homegrown music that long ago went global.

Industry Minister Anthony Hylton was one of the officials attending Kingston's "international reggae day" gathering Wednesday.

Hylton describes reggae as "part of the heart and soul of Jamaica." But he says the struggling local music industry needs to be protected and monetized with a "modern intellectual property regime."

After years of offering only piecemeal support for reggae, Jamaica's government is increasingly viewing the music and other cultural enterprises as a potential economic engine for the island.

Hylton says Jamaican lawmakers have recently amended laws to extend local copyright terms from 50 to 95 years, among other changes.