On the 6th of December of 2013 Krazy Koconuts Ltd and Nature Island Communications (Kairi Fm) Ltd staged a concert at Krazy Koconuts night club headlined by the Trinidadian husband and wife Soca act Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons.
ECCO (Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization), the Performing Right Organization representing its songwriter and composer members and those of similar societies worldwide filed for, and received an injunction from the High Court to restrain the promoters from using any music in its repertoire at that concert.
On account of technicalities with the service of relevant documents, including the injunction order, the concert went ahead in spite of the injunction.
ECCO subsequently sued Krazy Koconuts and Nature Island Communications (Kairi Fm) Ltd for copyright infringement.
In its claim for infringement, ECCO alleged that the defendant companies infringed its exclusive right to authorize the public performance of musical works within its repertoire and in particular the works entitled “Another day in Paradise” authored by Phil Collins of the United Kingdom and “DJ Ride” authored by Terry Arthur of Barbados.
Both songwriters are members of the Performing Right Society of the United Kingdom to which organization they have assigned the right of public performance around the world in all the musical works which they have created or will create in the future.
According to ECCO’s filing, the right to authorize the public performance in Dominica and the OECS of works within the repertoire of the Performing Right Society has been transferred to it and thus ECCO has all right and authority to prohibit or authorize the public performance of musical works whether these are created by its own members or creators who are members of any society with which it is affiliated by a contract of reciprocal representation.
According to ECCO chairman, Mc Carthy Marie, ECCO’s case was rock solid and the defendants decided not to file a defence but instead opted to enter discussions with the society for an out of court settlement.
The parties and their respective legal counsels, Singoalla Blomqvist- Williams for the defendants and Ronald Charles for ECCO, held discussions and reached a mutually satisfactory settlement whereby ECCO agreed to grant the defendants a licence for the concert of the 6th December of 2013 on the terms stated in its tariff and to have its legal fees paid by the defendant companies.
Additionally Krazy Koconuts Ltd agreed to take up ECCO’s licence for the use of its repertoire at the Night Club going forward while Nature Island Communications (Kairi Fm) Ltd will do the same for its use of ECCO’s repertoire in the broadcasts on KAIRI FM and other stations owned by the defendant company.
Mc Carthy Marie expressed the hope that it will not be necessary to take legal action against promoters of concerts and other musical events or broadcast media as this case clearly shows that the final cost to music user is always considerably higher than the cost of the licence from ECCO.
However, he also made insists that when it it necessary to take legal action, ECCO will not hesitate to such action in Dominica or anywhere else in the OECS.