'Ernie B' denies Spear's claim
ERNIE Boetius, CEO of Ernie B Distributions and RAS Records, was recently in the news when reggae legend Burning Spear accused him of selling bootleg copies of his music.
But in an interview with Splash, Boetius denied Spear's accusations and said the singer's pronouncements have not caused much damage to his business.
"The overwhelming reaction is a combination of bewilderment and sorrow.
Bewilderment, because the accusations are incredulous," Boetius said.
He added that Spear's pronouncements can bring negativity to the reggae distribution business.
In his Facebook post on February 13, Spear said that, 'they bootlegging all of our music and trying to use the police to get us arrested. Time to unite it's our music that feed them'.
The singer, whose real name is Winston Rodney, also called for Ernie B's company to be 'shut down now'.
Boetius believes Spear's comments can bring negativity to the reggae distribution business.
Based in California, Ernie B Distributions is a one stop company and has been in existence since 1993. It provides mail orders to customers in over 100 countries.
"Since we never manufactured nor licensed products, we've never had a need for contracts of any kind. We simply buy and sell CDs and records (usually directly from artists, producers or labels)," Boetius explained. "We buy from practically everyone in the world that has reggae music to offer for sale."
Boetius stated that he has no quarrel with Spear and would like to see their differences resolved quickly.
"If the harassment ceases and the accusations are publicly retracted then we would consider the matter closed with no hard feelings," he said. "Our intention is to cause the least amount of legal problems possible for Burning Music while still protecting our company from harassment, libel and slander," he concluded.
Burning Music monitors Burning Spear's impressive catalogue which has titles dating back to the late 1970s. Since the mid-1970s when he recorded classic albums like Marcus Garvey and Man In The Hills for Island Records, Spear has recorded for several independent companies, such as Heartbeat Records, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.