Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sisamouth’s songs protected




Sisamouth’s songs protected

Khav Thorng Nhot, the widow of singer Sinn Sisamouth, looks on at the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh yesterday as her family registers her late husband’s music for copyright protection.
Khav Thorng Nhot, the widow of singer Sinn Sisamouth, looks on at the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh yesterday as her family registers her late husband’s music for copyright protection. Heng Chivoan

Sisamouth’s songs protected

In yet another sign of the government’s growing commitment to intellectual property protection, the Ministry of Commerce yesterday accepted an application to register more than 180 songs as the property of the family of famed Cambodian golden age singer Sinn Sisamouth.

At an event attended by the ministers of commerce and culture, Sisamouth’s son Sin Chanchhaya, 57, asked the ministries to take action against those who illegally copy his father’s work, the benefits from which the family hasn’t seen in the nearly 40 years since the icon’s death.

“I have evidence to prove [they are] my father’s masterpieces, such as melody compositions and 180 songs that were sung by my father,” Chanchhaya said.

“My father’s songs have been copied haphazardly since 1982,” he added. “I asked for intervention from the [Culture and] Fine Arts Ministry three times, but nothing was carried out.”

Chanchhaya said that the 180 tracks presented yesterday likely represent only a fraction of his father’s material, which he said could number in the thousands of songs.

Sisamouth’s widow, Khav Thorng Nhot, 75, said yesterday that living in the countryside of Stung Treng province, she rarely heard illegal recordings of her husband’s work, but that hearing any of his music always made her feel “nostalgic”.

However, she continued, her family had never made any money from the immensely popular music.

“We want some benefit from the songs,” she said.

Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol and Minister of Culture Phoeurng Sakona accepted the family’s materials, with Chanthol promising to examine and process them with the aim of protecting Sisamouth’s work under the Kingdom’s intellectual property law.

According to Var Roth San, director of the ministry’s intellectual property department, copyright for a writer is valid for the writer’s lifetime plus 50 years. For Sisamouth, who died under the Khmer Rouge, the copyright would last another 20 years before entering the public domain, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia