Vendors risk copyright infringement

Some vendors at Florida A&M University’s “Friday Flea Market” on the Set could be in danger of breaking copyright laws.

Senior University Program Specialist Catherine Jefferson said there is no question that artists are not able to control the reproduction of their work on FAMU’s campus. Jefferson said the FAMU Police Department know and deal with all copyright laws on campus.

“If I see them myself, I call the police,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said there is a protocol for the FAMUPD to follow when dealing with copyright violations. If the police see them once, vendors are issued a trespassing warning. If the police catch vendors again, they are arrested for trespassing.

A spokesman for the FAMUPD said, “The selling of copied CDs is more of a civil case than a criminal case. The judge must give a cease and desist.”

Jefferson said vendors fill out a flea market request form to secure their spot on Fridays. She said the reason they are not removed is because FAMU police do not move them.

FAMUPD said violations of copyright laws bother them because it puts the University in a bad light.

Vendors said they do realize what they are doing is against the interest of the artists, but have their reaasons for continuing.

“You make a lot of money, and it’s cheap to make a lot of profit. [The artists] seem to have a lot of money, so it’s not hurting them that much,” said a vendor who chose not to disclose any of his personal information.

The vendor said they do have reasons for selling despite the copyright law.

” I’m doing it to save up to buy a car,” the vendor said. “I just saw other people doing it and came out here.”

Even though it is an illegal act to buy and sell copied compact discs without the artists’ consent, students still participate in the process.

“Yes, I buy them sometimes because they’re cheaper. It’s not my intention to take money from (the artists). I’m just trying to save my money,” said Abdul Foster, a junior business student from Carson, Calif.

“I just like good music.”

Some students say they do not buy CDs from the store because they do not want to waste their money.

“They’re cheaper. If I only like one song on the CD, I don’t want to pay $15,” said Paula Levermore, a graduate business administration student from Silver Spring, Md.

Yet, there are some students who do not like to buy CDs without supporting the artist.

“I don’t really like to buy copied CDs. If I really like the artist, I would rather buy the CD and support them,” said Jamaris Glenn, a junior pharmacy student from Tampa.

However, Glenn does not hold anything against students who purchase from the vendors.

“They can do whatever, they’re their own person,” Glenn said. “I don’t do it.”

Contact Royce Wynn at