Copyrights enforcers in the Caribbean got a huge boost when a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between them and internationally recognized copyrights owners and protectors.
The MOU was signed between The Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS) and the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers Of Music (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), SESAC, and the Performing Rights Society (PRS) at a two-day retreat in St. Lucia.
As part of the understanding the Anglo-American societies will provide technical assistance including, where necessary, financial and legal assistance with litigation to its Caribbean counterpart.
The agreement also called for the Anglo-American Societies to provide the Caribbean Societies with up to date data management tools particularly to improve the management of the core functions of documentation and distribution.
Training of the staff of ACCS societies in the use of these tools will be an integral part of the package of assistance to be delivered jointly by The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and the Anglo-American Societies to the Caribbean Societies.
The retreat was was initiated with the aim of facilitating greater cooperation among the Caribbean Societies and the Anglo-American societies in the licensing of music users in the Caribbean.
Of particular concern was the low rate of compliance with the legal requirement of broadcasters in radio, TV and cable providers to obtain licences from the local societies for all the music used in their programming no matter its source.
Mc Carthy Marie chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) said that it is expected that with assistance of the Anglo-American societies and CISAC that there will be a significant reduction in the ratio of administration costs to revenue caused mainly by a significant increase in revenue collection, particularly from the electronic media — Cable TV, Terrestrial TV, Radio and online uses such as streaming, downloads and website enhancement using music.
“These increases in efficiency will redound to the benefit of the world-wide community of musical creators including those from the Caribbean,” Marie said.
ACCS is made up of COTT from Trinidad and Tobago, JACAP from Jamaica, COSCAP from Barbados and ECCO of the OECS.
ASCAP, BMI and SESAC jointly manage and licence the performing right in the world’s repertoire of copyright music in the United States while PRS does the same in The United Kingdom.
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