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Thai performer reportedly arrested for singing his own hits

By | Published on Friday 8 February 2013


And if you thought music companies in Europe and North America go a bit OTT in enforcing their copyrights, according to media in Thailand, a popular singer there was arrested recently for singing at least two of the hit songs he is known for without the permission of the publisher of said tracks.

It seems that Montchai Raksachart recently fell out with his former publisher, GMM Music Publishing International, which owns the copyrights in his songs. When the two parties failed to agree terms for a new contract last month, the publisher told the singer that he was not allowed to perform in public any of the songs GMM had published, and that if he did they would take action.

Presumably aware Raksachart was likely to ignore that threat, GMM’s reps were ready and waiting, and when he did perform the disputed songs on stage they reported him to the police for copyright infringement. And, according to the Pattaya Mail, officers responded by arresting Raksachart after his show and taking him in for questioning.

It’s thought Raksachart is now renegotiating with GMM, and may re-sign with the label. In many countries, of course, including the UK, the public performance of copyright songs is licensed through the collective licensing system under a blanket licence, so publishers couldn’t hold an individual singer songwriter to ransom over their live performances, however bitter a falling out had been.