Faye Ann Lyons-Alvarez

General Licensing

Find out why a using licensed musical works benefits you and those whose works you enjoy

COTT is a clearing house for music users and creators. We facilitate the process of granting permission to users of music, who are legally obligated to get authorisation from copyright owners each time their music is performed in public, broadcasted or recorded.

Music composers by law are protected to earn income through the royalties paid on the public performance of their work, as such they are granted certain exclusive economic rights and so in order to use their work, a license is necessary.  By obtaining an appropriate COTT license, paying the appropriate license fee or royalties, any music user can legally use a wide range of music. COTT acts as a collective administration organisation administering and negotiating “blanket licenses” with music users which provides them with access to all the music protected under COTT's local and reciprocal agreements.


General Licensing is responsible for the issuing of Copyright Music Licenses for the public performances of music in all instances, with the exception of those that are made by radio, television and internet broadcasters or those requiring Mechanical licenses.


The process for applying and obtaining a license is very simple.  Before the event takes place, you should complete and return an application form to COTT providing details such as where the event will take place, cost of admission, the capacity of the venue and the number of tickets printed as well as the type of music that will be performed.  COTT will process the application and provide you with a contract.  

If you are planning to produce a concert, fête, fair or other public event with or without an admission fee where music will be performed by live or recorded means, then, as with other users of music, you will require a public performance license from COTT.  It is recognised that there are many types of events and COTT has a schedule of tariffs in order to ensure that you are granted the license that best meets your needs.

It is important for licensees to note that as a condition of the grant of a license, you may be required to provide COTT representatives access to the event and a running order of the music performed.  The information gathered enables COTT to distribute royalties more accurately to the owners of the music actually used.

Applying for an annual or blanket license for premises

For copyright purposes, a public performance, refers to any performance outside the domestic circle and includes performances in hotels, restaurants and cinemas, those given to audiences restricted to the members of a club or local institute, as well as to workers in a factory.  Whether used for commercial or non-commercial reasons, users are expected to pay royalties.  The cost of each license will depend on the nature of music use.

The process for applying and obtaining a license is very simple. Once you have decided to have music played at your business or event, you should contact COTT. You will then be required to complete an application form which captures data necessary to prepare an invoice, such as the size of the business. Once payment is made you will receive a contract.  



    Music Copyright gets a helping hand from Volunteers for Carnival 2018

    A recently-signed MOU is expected to contribute to more evidence-based distribution of royalties for Carnival 2018. This Memorandum of Understanding between the Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) and the Volunteer Center of Trinidad and Tobago (VCTT) was signed on Friday 12thJanuary, 2018 at the COTT Head Office, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.

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