Thai music industry executives who fine entertainment venues for spinning CDs without paying them, apparently have problems with live performances as well, getting police to arrest a popular country star in Pattaya for singing his own hits.
Prasith Prasertkittikul of industry giant GMM Music Publishing International Co., dragged police to Central Festival Pattaya Beach Feb. 1, insisting officers slap the cuffs on Montchai Raksachart, a 45-year old singer who had been under contract with the label until Jan. 14 using the stage name “Maithai Jaitawan”.
Performer Montchai Raksachart signs the complaint filed by Prasith Prasertkittikul of industry giant GMM Music Publishing International Co.
About 1,000 people had paid 50-120 baht to see Montchai, who upon leaving his label last month was warned not to sing any of his songs copyrighted by his former employer. Admitting he paid little heed to the lawyerly bluster, Montchai sang his well-known hits “Said Yes” and “Abandoned in Pattaya” anyway.
Police, at least, had the good sense not to pull the singer off-stage mid-tune, meeting Montchai in his van afterward to avoid press cameras before taking him to Pattaya Police Station to face charges of copyright infringement.
As if they don’t have enough money already, music industry agents, always looking for ways to collect more licensing fees, have stooped to inspecting bars and nightclubs, calling police when they hear music small business owners aren’t paying them for. That trick apparently now extends to the stage, where singers are told to either stay with their record label or give up any music they made famous.