By Latrishka Thomas
The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for music rights (ECCO) has publicized its struggle in getting acquiescence from residents of Antigua and Barbuda.
Over the weekend, the vice chairman of the music rights company highlighted the need for public education in order to encourage compliance.
“We are not anywhere near, with the exception of Dominica, we have not really got a lot of compliance outside of St. Lucia and Dominica. We are struggling and it’s just a matter of getting the word out there,” the vice chairman of ECCO, Ian Sanchez said.
It’s a growing thing. It’s education. I think ECCO needs to get into the schools to teach the youngsters about it. It’s an education process,” Sanchez added.
The regional organization based in St. Lucia is seeking to enforce a 5 percent tariff which must be paid by businesses, promoters and others that play copyright music.
The Copyright Management Organization (CMO) has made it clear that no one is exempt from paying this fee.
According to the vice chairman, “It’s not an option, it’s the law.”
The scope of responsibility for ECCO’s fee requirement spans, “everywhere music is used in a public performance…in the sense that it is copyright music,” Sanchez sought to explain.
He elaborated by stating that even when having a free event, you will be required to complete a form supplied by ECCO where you would have to provide details of your event to include the intended capacity.
A figure is then calculated based on certain factors such as the number of persons to be in attendance and the size of the venue by square feet. Sanchez also said that members of ECCO cannot waive their rights … but the CMO can agree to waive the fee based on an application submitted that would be considered and meticulously vetted by the management of the organization. Charitable events, for example, are sometimes granted an event waiver.