This year, issues with the way that accreditation to cover Carnival is being arranged and copyright fees have been paid to stakeholders have raised legitimate concerns about management of the festival's intellectual property.
At least part of the problem arises because Carnival's stakeholders appear to be worried that there is so much less about the festival that's unique or saleable and what's left must be zealously protected.
Unfortunately, it's far too late for that. The magical quality of steelband was introduced to the world in a series of tours that entranced, intrigued and ultimately involved the musicians of many nations around the world.
Our pan ambassadors became spores, seeding the world with hundreds of small steelbands that ended the lucrative tours and forever decentralised control over the development of the instrument.
Decades later, the steelband movement is still to recover that authority. To this day, a simple Google search on the word "steelband" returns dozens of pages of results leading to Web sites for bands, none of which are from T&T.
Similar issues of creative authority, Internet presence and simple communications fundamentals also plague the worlds of masquerade and calypso.
In an attempt to address those shortfalls, Carnival's stakeholders have hiked the rates for coverage. It now costs more than $6,000 for a photographer to record Carnival for personal use. Rates skyrocket from there. Unlike normal licencing arrangements, however, the precise rights that are being conferred are notably unclear.
Amateur photographers and videographers have the option of either choosing to find other ways of photographing the event from publicly accessible areas or declining to record the event entirely.
The media do not have that luxury. An internal conflict between the NCC, NCBA and NCDF spilled into the business of journalism after media houses, Guardian Media included, received lawyer's letters from the T&T Copyright Collections Organisation (TTCO) claiming unpaid copyright fees for recording Carnival backdated to 2007.
This action is a dangerous misunderstanding of the role of the media in seeking the public's interest in a national event and in that carelessness and haste to cash in, there is also the very real potential chilling effect for documentarians interested in recording the festival for posterity.
These actions take place in an environment in which all of Carnival's stakeholders are fully aware of the appalling state of the public record of Carnival's history.
It might have seemed appropriate for Carnival's stakeholders to seek rapprochement with the media to improve public record of the event and to explore the leveraging of such coverage to our advantage.
The debacle of Panorama semifinals not being broadcast or professionally recorded to video only points to the need to completely rethink the relationship between media and the festival's stakeholders
The intellectual property of mas creators and performers must be protected, but Carnival is not a museum piece to be protected, it's a living event that demands a greater appreciation of the synergies that can exist between presentation, documentation and audience, something that can only improve the reach and popularity of the festival.