Trying Meat: To eat or not to eat?


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As a child, I grew up tall and skinny and a lover of meat. (Meat doesn’t necessarily make you fat neither does lack of meat makes you lean).  I remember my mom’s cooking with fondness and even salivate remembering my teeth ripping through the tasty sumptuous chicken, curried goat, oxtail, and fish which was my favourite dish. The bones didn’t get away either. It was so tasty that I use to lick my lips, lick my fingers and if mom was not looking, licked the plate too. To make matters worse, in elementary school we were reminded that not only is meat tasty, it is also nutritious. It is an easy ready source of nutrients such as protein and Vitamin B12. Those were the days.

Sigh. Then I grew up and start to take life more seriously: worrying about the meaning of life; who we are; what we are and many things that teenager ponder as they transit from child to adult. Fortunately or unfortunately, as a young teen, my friends were older and in their late 20s and embracing the conscious roots, Rasta 1970s Jamaican vibes. Back then trimming, eating meat and holding black people in bondage were seen as Babylon and ungodly.

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As such, my friends influence let me began to see that “to rise, kill and eat” was barbaric, inhumane and nonsensical. So as the Desiderata said, I did “Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth”. Saul (Paul) said,  in 1 Corinthians 13:11, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I gave up meat in 1995 (with the exception of fish) and I am still tall and skinny. I must admit that the only problems I have with being a vegetarian are that it is costly (the best things in life are expensive); it is hard to get a meal as most restaurants sell flesh (do not follow a multitude to do wrongs) and it is a daily test of will and commitment (many are called, few are chosen).

However, it was easy for me not to eat flesh as I had questions about our mental, physical, social and intimate being in relation to what/who we eat, when we eat, how we eat, where we eat,  and why we eat.  We are what we eat.Image result for benefits of  meat einstein ghandi

Here is the “beef” with vegetarianism that prompt this blog. I discovered that today’s wo/man needs a very important nutrient called vitamin B12. That’s cool. No problem. Get it.

Now,  here is the dilemma. It is found mainly in animals and is not in most commonly eaten vegetables and fruits.

You got to be kidding me!!!!! Give me a phone line to God. This needs a big explanation as I thought that wo/man in its ideal form do not spill blood or eat meat yet vitamin B12 is mainly in animals. (See Genesis 1. 29 and the biblical perspective at end of this blog for details).


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I don’t know if this discovery would bother you or even you ever find yourself wondering if we should eat meat? how does it affect who we are  and is it wicked and sinful? This is an interesting and maybe provocative topic but I have nevertheless delved into it and am sharing some arguments in support and some against meat eating. A biblical perspective is attempted at the end.


Kris Gunnars, BSc in her article, 7 Reasons Not to Avoid Meat at has this to say about the topic.

 1. We Can Function Eating Both Plants and Animals

The truth is that humans have evolved from herbivores to omnivores and our digestive systems have adapted to make use of the fats, proteins and nutrients found in animal foods.

2. Meat Contains Nutrients

High quality, unprocessed meat is high in many nutrients. A 100 gram portion (3.5 ounces) of raw ground beef contains vitamin B12, B3 (Niacin), B6, iron, zinc, selenium and various other vitamins and minerals. (It would take a much more sizeable amount of plant matter to produce an equivalent amount of nutrients).

Vitamin B12 is particularly important because it cannot be got from commonly consumed plants. Many people who avoid animal foods are deficient in it. (This is scary for vegans  as very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements.

Vegans have countered that B12 was an issue requiring no special attention as it is in some plants, or even an elaborate hoax. They proposed specific foods, including spirulina, nori, tempeh, and barley grass, as suitable non-animal sources of B12.

3. Meat Doesn’t Raise Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease or Diabetes

Studies now show that saturated fat in the diet is not linked to heart disease, however, these studies found a significantly increased risk for processed meat. Seems if you want to avoid chronic disease, then it makes sense to avoid processed meat as much as possible but unprocessed meat seems to be fine they claim.

4. Meat Contains High Quality ProteinImage result for benefits of  meat einstein ghandi

Proteins are long strings of amino acids that are linked together and folded into complex shapes protein is important for bone health. There are about 9 amino acids that we cannot produce and must get from our diet. In this regard, animal proteins is given the edge over many plant proteins but easy doesn’t make it right.

5. There is Only a Very Weak Correlation With Cancer

There are some studies showing a link between red meat and cancer but new studies seem to be suggesting that while it is true that processed meat strongly correlates with increased cancer risk, the same is not true for unprocessed red meat. That being said, it is possible that the way meat is cooked has an effect, because carcinogens can form when meat is cooked excessively. For this reason, it is important to use gentler cooking methods and cut away all burnt or charred pieces.


Michelle McMacken, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine. According to her,, people go plant-based for lots of reasons. These include losing weight, feeling more energetic, reducing the risk of heart disease, and decreasing the number of pills they take. She also touted the flowing reasons not to eat meat:

  1. You’ll reduce inflammation in your body.

Eating meat, cheese, and highly processed foods elevate the levels of inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to the development of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, among other conditions. In contrast, plant-based diets are naturally anti-inflammatory, because they are high in fiber, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients, and much lower in inflammatory triggers like saturated fat and endotoxins (toxins released from bacteria commonly found in animal foods).

  1. Your blood cholesterol levels will plummet.

Saturated fat—primarily found in meat, poultry, cheese, and other animal products—is a major driver of our blood cholesterol levels which is a key risk factor for heart disease and strokes, two of the leading killers in the United States. Cholesterol in our food also plays a role.

Whole-food, plant-based diets reduce blood cholesterol because they tend to be very low in saturated fat and they contain zero cholesterol. Moreover, plant-based diets are high in fiber, which further reduces blood cholesterol levels.

  1. You’ll give your microbiome a makeover.Image result for einstein on meat

The trillions of microorganisms living in our bodies are collectively called the microbiome. Not only do they help us digest our food, but they produce critical nutrients, train our immune systems, turn genes on and off, keep our gut tissue healthy, and help protect us from cancer.

Plant foods help shape a healthy intestinal microbiome. The fiber in plant foods promotes the growth of “friendly” bacteria in our guts. On the other hand, fiber-poor diets (such as those that are high in dairy, eggs, and meat) can foster the growth of disease-promoting bacteria such as obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver disease.

  1. You’ll dramatically reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

Animal protein, especially red and processed meat, has been shown in study after study to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Several reasons: animal fat, animal-based (heme) iron, and nitrate preservatives in meat have been found to damage pancreatic cells, worsen inflammation, cause weight gain, and impair the way our insulin functions

You will dramatically lessen your chances of getting type 2 diabetes if you eat whole grains, which are highly protective against type 2 diabetes. Also, a plant-based diet can improve or even reverse your diabetes if you’ve already been diagnosed.

  1. You’ll get the right amount—and the right type—of protein.

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Meat is an easy rich source of protein and this strength is its weakness and danger. Contrary to popular perception, this excess protein does not make us stronger or leaner. Excess protein is stored as fat or turned into waste, and animal protein is a major cause of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer.

On the other hand, the protein found in whole plant foods protects us from many chronic diseases.

  1. Huge impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants.

Animal agriculture has led to many development and improvements in the type of life of man. It has led us to save time that went into a shift from being nomadic to city building; creation of industries and the use of food, cosmetics and clothing from animal. However, animal agriculture is extremely destructive to the planet. It is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and is a leading cause of land and water use, deforestation, wildlife destruction, and species extinction. The current food system, based on meat and dairy production, also contributes to world hunger—the majority of crops grown worldwide go toward feeding livestock, not feeding people.

Image result for quotes on meat einstein ghandiEqually important, animals raised for food are sentient beings who suffer and know pain. Eating a plant-based diet helps us lead a more compassionate life. After all, being healthy is not just about the food we eat; it’s also about our consciousness—our awareness of how our choices affect the planet and all of those with whom we share it.


Phase 1 – pure man

In Genesis 1.29-30 we read:  Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (NIV).

In short, man at the beginning of creation, while in its righteous and sinless state was commanded to be a vegetarian. This would suggest that man’s body was made to be herbivores and the need for canine to rip flesh was not necessary.

Phase 2 – Fallen man

Then, after Man became vile and sinful, and after the Flood, in Genesis 9.1-5 we read: Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal.” (NIV)

It appears after the Flood, permission was given to eat meat and man’s body evolved into omnivores. (This is where I think that the need for Vitamin B12 start to evolve).

Phase 3 –  Laws

Then after the Israelites came out of Egypt and were trying to be a bit more righteous, Moses said God told him that the new order would be as follows: Leviticus 11: The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

Phase 4 – Modern man

The bible has been silent on the eating of meat since the Moses laws. However, many verses in the New Testament have been quoted to “legalize” the eating of blood and unclean animals such as pigs, rabbits and dogs but none is a commandment of God.

For example, a popularly quoted verse, Acts 10 is used because in it God said “Rise, kill and eat as nothing I have cleansed is unclean or common”. In fact this was a vision and was simply preparing Peter for the meeting with the Centurion, who was a gentile. (The Old testament taught that all non Israelite were unclean, inferior and were dogs). Can you believe that?

It is true. That is why the Apostle Peter was given the vision so he no longer hung on to such bigotry and racism. “[Acts 10:7-16. He recognized its meaning when the gentile Cornelius invited him to dinner the very next minute after the vision. At  Cornelius’ dinner, Peter related to his hosts, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean “.  Peter then baptized the first gentiles (non-Israelites) God called into the Church who were not initially Jewish proselytes (Acts 10:45-48). (The analogy of unclean meat to clean meat is to do with human beings).

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As was seen, science, the bible and expediency of survival taught us it is okay to eat meat. On the other hand, science, religion and expediency have taught us it is not okay and maybe even sinful to eat animals. Seems there is no clear winner.

Meat is a ready and cheap form of nutrition and it has allowed man to switch from nomadic societies to domestication of animals and the creation of great towns and cities. None of that, of course, means that increased meat consumption—or any meat consumption at all—is necessary for today’s’ man.

Maybe with the increased wars, lack of brotherly love and the breakdown of basic morality, not eating meat may reverse these tendencies. After all, quality of life should be measured by how we treat the poor, less fortunate and dumb creatures. I am sure ALL animals would give vegetarianism a YES vote. Although it might seem trivial, animals are our friends and co partners and should not be our dinner.

I am still puzzled why B12 is not readily available in common plants but realize that the need for Vitamin B12 is evolutionary as man switched from being a herbivore to Omnivore. For example, did you know that science claims that the Brown Bear over thousands of years underwent evolutionary change and became the Polar bear? Surviving the harsh polar environment of cold and no plants resulted in molars becoming canine and skin coat change to white to fit the snow.  It seems we are what we eat so would we live to eat, or eat to live. .

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Before you eat your next meal of sweet savoury delectable meat, don’t selfishly think of the rich source of nutrition you are getting. Instead think of the horror those farm animals faced when they noticed that the man that raised them, took care of them, and protect them, has turned around and killed them. Maybe the eating of  this “horror” meat is the reason we are what we are. Callous, inhumane and sick.

Summarily, meat eating is a choice but its outcome is a consequence. So, as we rush in where even angels fear to tread remember that the way that seems easy wide and fully lit might be the way to destruction.

Solomon sums it up neatly in Ecclesiastes 12 vs 13 – 14.

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The commandment that instruct us to eat royally and in harmony with life is in the first chapter of the first book of “our” bible and suffice to say, “As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end”.

Gen 1 vs 29. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat…….And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.



Think how exciting it would be to have a booklet that told you all you need to know about music copyright and publishing in Jamaica, and by extension, the United States. Well if you are like us: an unknown Indie or young music label trying to be known and wanting to do things properly and “by the books.” Well, we empathize with you. You see, since January of this year 2015,  just like you, WordFoodMusic want to think about copyright. Will it be our lyrics, our song and our music? Will it be a cover version? How do we protect our song from unlawful use by other people? How do we protect ourselves from unlawful use of other people’s material, how much does it cost to register copyright and how can we get royalties from our copyright material/songs?

In fact we are doing our music publication for an artiste , Aneil, who is doing her first single’ Let Me Be”. This was no easy task but we had fun prying, begging, seeking, knocking and getting the answers.

These are now simple questions to us, but earlier this year we didn’t know much and we had to painstakingly sift through the clutter and  sometimes daunting task of getting information. Knowledge is power and ignorance is not bliss. What you don’t know can hurt you in the pocket and in the mind.

In fact, having no copyright can be a wrong copy and if you take notice, big companies such as SONY, Universal Music Group and EMI, have entire legal departments dealing with copyright and publishing.

Of course, Needless to say, we know that new Indies and fledgling labels like WordFoodMusic, cannot afford such departments but you do not want to go the hard route we went.

Cheer up, have created your own “How To Copy Right Music in Jamaica” in order to help you know and understand the intricate yet important business of protecting you and your musical creation. This booklet looks at the nuts and bolts of copyright. It is choc full of information on copyright definition, caveats, advantages of registration, copyright registration procedures, rights and licenses and much more. So do treasure this little guide and look out for part two on How To Publish Music in Jamaica.


For the records, copyright and publishing is not as developed in Jamaica as is in the United States and getting the nuts and bolt of it can be very challenging as stated. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to note that with the advent of the updated Copyright Act of 1993, and upcoming amendments, organizations such as Jamaica Association of Composers and Authors and Publishers (JACAP), Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS) and Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agent (JAMCOPY) are helping to regulate and cut a clear pathway in the intellectual property arena.

Basically, under the law (Jamaica and U.S.), copyright begins automatically once a piece of music is created then documented or recorded, for example, on video, tape or CD or simply written down in notation of a score sheet. WordFoodMusic CEO puts it nicely, “Once it is affix, you are in the mix. No registration is necessary to own what you create. However, proving that you own what you had made is another matter”.

Both the Jamaican Copyright Act 1988/1993 and the U.S. Copyright Law, amended December 2011, put copyright as a protection for original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It allows an original work to be considered a property that is owned by somebody, whether published or unpublished.

Having no copyright can be a wrong copy. Importantly, even if you see your friends or other artistes using other people’s work without permission, it is illegal and you should not, according to the Bible, “follow a multitude to do wrong”. This is still true even though you may see some producers, loosely, putting the words “cover version” or “adapted” on their cover records to show a form of respect. The reality is that this is still an infringement as any form of unauthorized use of copyright material is a violation of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

Remember, as the CEO of WordFoodMusic puts it, “originals are the real deal, but nothing wrong in covering a song, if you know the game and play along”.

By the way, the symbol for copyright is © although it may vary in some jurisdiction.


money image 2 Maybe the most important benefit of copyright is the inner gratification or moral rights of saying “ my song that”. However, if the song become a hit, then we talking money. 

Copyright is big business and the copyright acts of Jamaica and U.S. afford several important rights that can earn income for the writer, composer and producer of music. The main rights are Public Performing Right, Reproduction Right, Mechanical Right, and Synchronization Right.

  1. Public Performing Right is the exclusive right of the copyright owner to authorize the performance or transmission of the work in public: the right to decide how and when it should be played. When you buy any Aneil’s debut single, “Let Me Be” or download the MP3, Aneil, the copyright owner, through her agency WordFoodMusic, gives you permission to ONLY play the song for yourself, close friends and family. You do not own the song.

So, if you wish to play Aneil – “Let Me Be” to a wider group of people, for example at a Fish Fry on the beach, it is classed as a public performance and you must first seek permission (licence) from Aneil or her agent, before you do so. JACAP and JAMMS are responsible for this in Jamaica while ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are responsible for the USA.

  1. Reproduction Right is the exclusive right of the copyright owner, to authorize the reproduction of a musical work as in a record, cassette or CD.
  2. Mechanical Right is the right to authorize the reproduction and distribution of a specific composition at an agreed upon fee per unit manufactured and sold. In Jamaica this is done by JACAP and JAMMS while Harry Fox Agency is the most popular in the U.S.
  3. Synchronization Right is the exclusive right to synchronize the musical composition in timed relation with audio-visual images on film or videotape.

Please note that even if you are covering a song to give away for free as promotional material, the copyright owner must grant you a licence before reproduction. In the U.S the going licensing rate is $0.091 (9.1 cents) per unit for songs that are five minutes and under in length or $0.0175 (1.75 cents) per minute or fraction thereof, per unit for songs that are over five minutes in length. Outside of the U.S., the royalty rate is typically 8%-10% of the list price.

An illustration, If Aneil covers Sam Smith’s song “I am not the only one” and wants to print and sell 2000 copies, Aneil must pay 2000 @ $.091) or $182 to Harry Fox or Sam Smith or his agent. Even if WordFoodMusic decide to give away the records of the cover song for free to promote Aneil, Sam Smith must be paid $182. Of course, if Sam Smith is contacted directly, he may allow free reproduction of that particular composition. Using, JACAP, JAMMS or Harry Fox where relevant allows the person wishing to cover a song to avoid hunting down the copyright owner to pay him/her.

BMI logo

JACAP logo imagaClick any logo to get to that website

No copyright is wrong if you are covering a song. . WordFoodMusic quote: “Originals are the real deal, but nothing wrong in covering a song, if you know the game and play along”.                            

Now imagine the interesting scenario of Aneil, without permission, making a cover of Sam Smith’s song (MP3) and offer it for free online, and the song gets millions of free downloads. It simply means that this breach can result in Sam Smith and his publisher claiming stiff statutory damages, civil and criminal. As much as $30,000 or more per offense when it comes to people who knew or probably knew that they were infringing on the rights of others. Similar large sums are also applicable in Jamaica.





Click logo to get to that website.

Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim. (The song’s birth certificate) and before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U. S. origin.

Since registration of copyright is not compulsory, why should one register with the US Copyright Office and “waste” $35 on copyright registration? Basically, the most important reasons according to the U.S. Copyright Act include the fact that Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim. (The song’s birth certificate) and before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U. S. origin. Basically, if made before or within five years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

A super incentive is that if registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions, in the U.S.

As a result of the rights afforded by copyright, there are several ways the copyright owner can earn money:

  1. Mechanical – Digital Downloads, Streaming Services and Physical Products (CD’s, Cassettes, Phonographs, 8 Tracks etc)
  2. Public Performance – Interactive and Non Interactive Streaming Services, Radio, TV, Live Performance, Downloads
  3. Synchronization – TV, Film, Commercials
  4. Print – Songbooks, Sheet Music Physical and Online (digital) versions
  5. Ringtones

Currently, in Jamaica, copyright generally lasts for a period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies. In the U.S. it is 70 years after the composer’s death.


mail egistered The Poor man’s copyright is a nice way to help show that you were in possession of the work at a particular date based on the postal stamp mark. However, although figures don’t lie, liars can figure and this is not a fool proof way. After all, how does one prove it is a genuine mail, not tampered with and a colleague at the post office did not stamp it (back dated).
  1. (Poor man’s Copyright). Send a copy of the work to yourself by registered mail, via the post office, leaving the envelope unopened and stored in safe place together with receipt from the post office
  2. Deposit a copy of the work(s) to the National Library of Jamaica. Also note that it is a requirement under the Legal Deposits Act, that a copy of all library matter published in Jamaica ,including books, CDs, DVDs, must be deposited with the National Library of Jamaica for archival and historical purposes. This also provides a public record supporting an author’s claim of copyright
  1. Deposit a copy of the song(s) with an Attorney-at-law (you may be required to pay legal fees.
  2. The U.S. Copyright Act allows for a formal registration and protection of creators’ rights (birth certificate). This is done by registering the work with the US Copyright Office. To do so simply visit and preferably, register online. Online registration is faster and cheaper. The online fee for a single song owned by the writer is $35 while all other online application fee is $55. To register using printed forms and offline is $85. The application process takes up to 8 months if done via e-Filing and up to 13 months if done via Paper Form offline. Similar to Jamaica, a copy of the registered work is to be deposited with the Library of Congress.

Please note: Jamaicans may register their songs with the US Copyright Office even though the song was produced and published in Jamaica.


If you are making music, whether your own composition or you plan to cover other artistes’ songs, copyright and its legal implications must be at the fore front of your project. Copyright is simple the ownership of the rights to ones creation of a song. There is no need to register one’s copyright in a song as it is automatically created the minute the song is fixed in a medium such as CD or online downloads or music sheet. The song doesn’t have to be published to gain copyright. “Once it is fix, you are in the mix”

It is not possible to register a song in Jamaica but the use of Poor man’s copyright and depositing the song at the National Library of Jamaica will help in providing proof of association with the song at a particular date. Jamaicans can, however, register their songs with relative ease at the U.S. Copyright Office for a modest sum of money. Copy rights ownership afford the creator several important rights such as Public Performing Right, Reproduction Right, Mechanical Rights, and Synchronization Rights. All these rights can earn the considerable amount of money if realized. Infringing on the right of a copyright owner can result in stiff statutory fines. As such, it is better to pay a modest fee (licence) to use other people’s music rather than be liable for thousands of dollars in statutory fines, lack of peace of mind and embarrassment. “if you have no copyright , you doing a wrong copy.”

 Remember, Copyright Law provides the ability for anyone to record and sell a cover song, so long as he/she notifies the copyright holder properly and agree to pay the statutory royalty for each copy made and distributed.

There is much fun, in creating and developing music, but for many, the real gravy is in the returns made from the copyright and it is critical that we give credit where it is due.

Writer’s note: Clifton “NOTCLIF” Neil is an avid writer, marketer and university teacher, in Jamaica, who has taken up the challenge of providing simple “How to books” on topics such as copyright, publishing, and music marketing. You may have the full text of this publication, in e-book form, FOR FREE, by simply visiting our website, check it out and sign up for free newsletter and other upcoming publications.

Click on the e-book below to get your free copy of “How To Copyright Music in Jamaica”.

Aneil – Let Me Be Lyrics video on YouTube
Aneil – Let Me Be song on Sound Cloud
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