Sisamouth’s Family Awarded Copyright for 73 Songs

The family of Sinn Sisamouth has been officially granted intellectual property rights to 73 songs composed by the late singer, who died during the Khmer Rouge regime, after making a request to the Commerce Ministry.

In a ceremony Wednesday evening, Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol handed the rights to the legendary singer’s wife, Khav Thorng Nhot, 75, and son, Sinn Chanchhaya.

Sinn Chanchhaya, son of Sinn Sisamouth, sings next to a poster of his father at the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Sinn Chanchhaya, son of Sinn Sisamouth, sings next to a poster of his father at the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“They brought to us all the evidence to justify that the songs were composed by him,” Mr. Chanthol said.

“From today on, anyone who wants to use the 73 songs of Sinn Sisamouth for any purpose must ask permission from his family and must pay fees…. We have the law to protect the rights of composers.” Mr. Chanchhaya said the family would try to secure rights for more songs.

“We have been waiting for a long time for this, and today’s event is an unforgettable memory that will always stay in our hearts,” he said, before singing for the crowd.

Intellectual property rights are effectively nonexistent in Cambodia, and Mr. Chanthol did not elaborate on how the ministry would enforce the songs’ copyright protection.

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