Christians Accused of Pirating Gospel Music

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Adrian Agard, executive producer of Barbados Gospelfest

Adrian Agard, executive producer of Barbados Gospelfest – photo credit: Barbados Today

Christians appear to be the biggest supporters of pirated gospel music releases. That is the assertion of Adrian Agard, who, has, for the past 15 years, been operating “Things Gospel”, a music, book, and stationery store.

Agard, who is also executive director of Gospel Fest, said the pirates seemed to recognise the lure which gospel music presents, and were taking advantage of it. Wherever a fellow is pirating, and sets up somewhere, he is always playing gospel music,” noted the veteran impresario.

Source:page 29 of Barbados Today dated 15 November, 2013

Pray tell me, Mr. Agard: Is everyone who plays gospel music a Christian, or is it the prerogative of everyone who lives in our country to buy and play whatever music she/he likes, or wants to give to someone?

Do you have the monopoly for selling gospel music in this country?

I know of a case where sometimes gospel music is being belted out, and at other times music with the vilest lyrics is being played!

The person may be Christian, but I cannot judge that!

Mr. Agard, do you think that every fisherman eats fish?

Do you think that all of those who sell milk drink it?

Do you think that all of those who sell bread eat it?

Do you think that all of those who sell alcohol drink it?

Is it not possible that some of them are allergic to what they sell, or some ingredient in it?

Is it not possible that they do not like them?

Some people may not like gospel music, but buy it as a present for a sibling or friend who they know like it!

If I, as a Christian, used to pirate music, would it make sense in pirating gospel music?

In my opinion, that would be a give away!

You yourself gave the answer to your far-fetched theory that Christians are the ones who are pirating gospel music when you stated that “the pirates seemed to recognise the lure which gospel music presents, and were taking advantage of it.”

Therein lies the crux of the matter, Mr. Agard!

I would suggest that you retract your trumped up, pie in the sky assumption about the pirates of your music being Christians, or prove what you have told journalists!

Otherwise, I urge all Christians who were planning, as I was, to buy gospel music from one of your outlets, to desist from so doing, as I will!


  • @anthony Davis,
    Pirating of all music takes place every where and Barbados is no exception. However the brazenness with which Barbadian pirates of film, music, and literature and almost everything else, needs policing, and serious enforcement of the law. I am a writer and know what goes on. An artist creates (invents) something with which he hopes to make money through its sales. the person who pirates this work is just like the praedial larcenist who waits until the farmer’s crop is ready and then goes and digs up his hardearned property. Every time I pass Swan Street, Marhill, JB;s parking area or any of these other places where people sell CDs, DVDs, etc I get so angry that I would like to destroy all of them. I know that the person selling them did nothing to create the work, but is getting sales from the copies made, while the creator of the work; the person who used their talent, energy and time is getting nothing from them . There is legislation on the books covering copyright, but what is the sense in having such legislation and it is never enforced. What you have created is used by others for their own personal gain. I know the feeling of helplessness when you recognize a work you have created is being used by someone else for their personal gain.
    I would like you to go to your computer and read up on copyright.
    More later


  • @Alvin

    Do you understand the point the author is making?


  • @David,
    I fully understand what the writer is saying and implying.Do You UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING?
    Barbadiaans have been accustomed to using the works of others for their own benefit with no recompense to the creator of the work. We have been going to dances,fetes, concerts etc; paying money to attend these things, playing the records of the artistes, and not paying a cent in royalties to the persons who created the works. this applies to overseas artistes and locals. It does not matter whether it is gospel music or calypso. It is not the buying of the work for your own personal use, but it is making a profit out of it without paying anything to the creator of the work. It is time for it to stop. We as barbadians have to change. We try to get everything free, but it is time for it to stop. I can’t make people change their long entrenched habits, but I can attempt to bring reality into focus.


  • Thou shalt not STEAL! LOL


  • Alvin,

    I don’t think we’re supposed to bitch about breach of copyright. But whether we are or not, I totally agree with you. For me it was when someone passed himself off as an expert to those who were easily duped using my material to do it.


  • What these fools are calling “GOSPEL” music is stretching reality along a continuum that does not uplift, edify or move the soul.

    It is a RAG-TAG of Afrocentric tribal beats rehashed with European created musical instruments and peddled as a creative industry with the title – music attached to it!

    What a joke!

    For the sake of those who are adept at their history – everything in the Caribbean was up for grabs based on the penchant of your colonial masters who taught you the vagaries of piracy in all its insidious forms.

    Calm down dear and PLEASE enjoy the musick…



  • Whether we disagree with the idea of gospel music or not the author has lashed out at the issue of Agard accusing Christians of pirating gospel music, but how could Christians pirate? How is this possible?


  • @Robert Ross,
    ” don’t think we’re supposed to bitch about breach of copyright.”..Are you kidding? Of course we are supposed to bitch!!!We are also suppposed to either have the people who are infringing the copyright pay the royalties due, or take them to court. COSCAP is the agency legally authorised to represent the holders of copyright and to ensure that they get the royalties due, or pursue the persons who are infringing the copyright in court. Every tune is played on a radio station, every tune played at a fete or concert, every play that is performed, entitles the creator of the work; as long as the copyright has been registered, to a sum paid as royalties.
    Thus if peoples’s (copyright holders) rights are being infringed we have every right to bitch about it. Isn’the essence of our democracy the right of protection for every citizen? The illegal activity of openly selling pirated material, means that every person who purchases one of these items is committing a crime. They are (a) receiving stolen property, (b) aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime, (c) contributing toward an attitude of disrespect for the law,(d) stealing from the person who created the work.


  • Alvin

    No: you’ve missed the point of my remark. I was saying that I didn’t think we were supposed to bitch about copyright for the purposes of this post. Of course it’s a serious matter. And as for the post, my view is that it clearly comes within its metes and bounds despite that not being the intention.


  • Herein lies the irony, Mr Agard on his high horse regarding piracy, without honestly facing the crux of the matter- Christian music and all things gospel can be inexpensively acquired online and once we see the incredible mark-up on these items in his establishment, choose to buy online or get a copy from an original. He has not made the burden of proof that copies are not being made between friends and families where no money is involved.


  • This is a debate which falls into the realm of futility. Local artists have been posting their releases to YouTube and looking to make money on live performances and other studio work. If one were to look at the huge following of the share sites the days of enforcing copyrights at the individual non commercial level are long gone.


  • Because you claim to be a Christian, and one who listens to Christian music does not mean that you will be honest, won’t thief or lie.


  • I have never or will encourage anyone in pirating anything – no matter what it is! My point is that you cannot jump to the conclusion that Christians are pirating gospel music, because they like it! It is like saying that people who like anything in particular are prone to pirate it! Digging for facts is better mental exercise than jumping to conclusions! That’s all I’m saying!


  • Oh lawsie, oh lawsie!!

    De pastor at we church tell me dat dis blasphemy was up heah.

    I cyan believe it!!

    You mean to tell me dat some uh de Christians in we church is pirates and Brigands? I did not say Old brigand Rum. Christians does not drink, or if dey does, it is in moderation.

    I like dat ting de fellow say bout “everybody who does sell mild doan drink milk” I thought he did plagiarizing de Drayton Two song bout “you come her to drink milk or you come here to drink rum”

    Not everyone who goes to Church is a Christian. De wife does drag me to Church evey Sunday, and during de week too but wunna can tell by my cuss words, i certainly ent one uh dem dat is “washed in de Blood of the Lamb”

    There are those among the Flock that, while pretending to be Christians, do not pause when they remove a ream of paper from the MTW office to print the Church hymns on a Sunday

    I have a question though.

    If I duplicate a CD which extols the Virtues of my GOD, His Salvation and Promise and if i play it all bout the place and one man hears it and comes to the Throne of the Father and is saved, what is my reward?

    Will my Lord damn me to hell for tiefing and duplicating a Christian CD or will i find blessing and favour for saving another soul?

    That is why the old people will say “only GOD can judge this world”


  • Pingback: Christians Accused of Pirating Gospel Music | Barbados Underground | Christian Music Jukebox

  • @Piece uh de rock,
    The Bible whic provides the guidelines for Christianity says…”Thou shalt not steal”. Period! If you copy a piece of work and use it for :”Your” enjoyment it is not stealing, but if you sell a copy to someone else, or if you use it to make money, That is stealing, and there is a penalty in law for doing so.


  • Hi David,

    I came across your blog post here when I was trying to find some free gospel music to download and I’ve read the whole content of the article which lead to me give my personal opinion about this topic.

    We’re in the year 2013 now and downloading free music in the internet is considered “SHARING” and there’s a lot of sites that really do offer FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS. So this contradicts Alvin Cummins’ statement above which is:

    “The Bible which provides the guidelines for Christianity says…”Thou shalt not steal”. Period! If you copy a piece of work and use it for :”Your” enjoyment it is not stealing, but if you sell a copy to someone else, or if you use it to make money, That is stealing, and there is a penalty in law for doing so.”

    Is there any difference between the guy who offered it for FREE? To the guy who downloaded it and burned it into a CD and sold it to earn a living?

    What do you think? Am I right? or wrong?

    I’m going to bookmark this page because I’m interested to get your feedback in my opinion/questions.

    Hope to read your answer soon!


  • @Pastor There is no difference but one is frown upon more than the other. It becomes a matter of economics 🙂


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  • This is an amazing and amusing story. How fascinating to see how persons posing as journalist can take your words and twist them to achieve whatever end their mind can conceive. I NEVER ACCUSED CHRISTIANS OF PIRATING GOSPEL MUSIC. Indeed I have no idea who the “Pirates” are.

    What is interesting is that what I stated is quoted in the article not necessarily in my exact words but basically that Gospel music is attractive fare for music pirates.

    How does the fact that I own and manage a store “Things Gospel” change the reality that persons pirate music?

    I would like to think that I have the right to comment on any situation in Barbados which as far as I am aware is still a free country and where owning a legitimate business in not a crime,

    While the delivery of music has changed drastically over the years leading to the demise of almost all music stores, the impact of pirating of CD’s and DVD’s cannot be understated.

    A business importing CD’s or DVD’s to be sold in Barbados pays the cost to the supplier. Pays the shipping charges. Pays 45% customs duty and 17.5%vat. Pays rent and other utilities as well as staff. A “pirate” on the other hand may purchase one (1) original CD or DVD. Purchases a set of blank CD’s/DVD’s (on which the import duty is 10 or 20%) which is retailed in many cases for less than one (1) dollar. Set up with computer and printer this person can duplicate and sell that CD or DVD ad infinitum. All done in broad daylight and in many cases from and around the premises of legitimate businesses. So much for the much touted Barbados copyright laws.


  • Good to see you defend yourself Sir, the dig at whether the author is a journalist was unnecessary.


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