Rikki Jai

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What's on the beat for COTT members, COTT licensees and those interested in the local music industry.

COTT's Position


It has come to the attention of the Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) that various interest groups such as businesses, broadcasters, proprietors of places of public entertainment, fete promoters and DJ’s, have been approached for the collection of fees by locally registered Copyright or Related/Neighbouring Rights Organizations such as the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO), the Advancing Writers Entertainers Singers On Music Endeavours (AWESOME) and the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Producers and Performers (TAPPs).

Kindly note that COTT is not affiliated with any of these locally registered organizations.

COTT, established as far back as 1984, collects licence fees for composers, authors and publishers when musical works are publicly performed, broadcast, recorded, used or transmitted on the internet, and/or otherwise communicated to the public.

These fees are then distributed to the creators of the musical works and their publishers by way of royalties.

To comply with the provisions of the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Act 1997, all businesses, broadcasters, proprietors of places of public entertainment, fete promoters and DJ’s are required to obtain a Copyright Licence from the owners of the musical works, when publicly performing or allowing the public performance of music on their premises.

In the case of COTT, through international affiliation, COTT administers the rights of over 1 million authors and composers and in excess of 40 million musical works, in addition to the works of its own over 2000 + local members.

COTT is aware that two local organizations, TTCO and AWESOME, have been representing a small number of local composers and authors. Please be aware that no other organization can license the music represented in Trinidad and Tobago by COTT.

We have also been advised that the Barbados Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (COSCAP), was given the mandate from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to collect for neighbouring rights in Trinidad and Tobago. COTT is not privy to the arrangement between the Barbados Society COSCAP and the IFPI.

Kindly note that Copyright in musical works must not be confused with ‘neighbouring’ or ‘related’ rights. Neighbouring rights apply to sound recordings and not to the music embodied in the sound recordings. The copyright in the music is separate and independent of the neighbouring rights in the sound recording.

It is recommended when approached by any organization seeking to license copyrighted works, that you seek information as to the legal authority, membership, size and value of the repertoires of these other organizations representing copyright or related/neighbouring rights in Trinidad and Tobago, as in many cases you may not require a licence from any of these organizations.

For the avoidance of doubt, a COTT licence is required when COTT’s repertoire is publicly performed, broadcast, recorded, used or transmitted on the internet, and/or otherwise communicated to the public in Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted by: cindy::Mar 8, 2012

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