Jamaican Promoters To Start Paying Royalties

The Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS) will be stepping up their campaign to enforce copyright rules for promoters who play music at their events.

JMMS general manager, Evon Mullings, said the copyright laws are not new, but exist since 1993, and promoters should not be confused.

“JAMMS is established under the Copyright Act of Jamaica (1993), to administer the intellectual property rights granted to producers/companies who are owners of the copyright in sound recordings, therefore it must not be confused that the law now being enforced is new,” Mullings said.

“Copyright laws exist in every territory and are very important for ensuring that the owners of the copyright have the necessary protection that will allow them benefit from the ‘exploitation’ of their works,” he added.

Mullings said his organization, the JAMMS, serves to act as the mediator that ensures that composers are compensated for their investmentments.

“We assist in the protection of rights, when owners become members of collecting societies such as JAMMS, we act on their behalf,” he said.

Event promoters must indicate the size of the event by declaring to JAMMS the estimated number of patrons. Based on the size of the event, promoters will pay the applicable licence fee, JAMMS will then issue payment receipts along with the copyright permit for public performance of sound recordings,” he added.

If a JAMMS copyright permit/licence is not obtained, performance of music in public would be seen as unauthorised, and may constitute an infringement of copyright, with respect to the provisions of the Copyright Act (1993).

According to Mullings, the intention is to build a good relationship with promoters and industry players, but also warned that copyright infringement is an illegal offence which carries penalties under the law.

JAMMS currently has ads in rotation on local radio stations promoting the Copyright Act, and according to Mullings, the process of payment is very simple.