Ricky Trooper Reveals Discrepancies With JAMMS, JACAP Distribution Of Artistes Royalties

Veteran Reggae/Dancehall music selector, Ricky Trooper, says there are discrepancies in the manner in which the royalty fees collected from music selectors, are distributed by Jamaica’s two music collection and licensing agencies.

Trooper questioned how the distributions of monies can properly appropriated to the artistes, by the Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS) and the Jamaica Association of Composers Artistes and Publishers (JACAP), when the organisations do not require that music playlists are also submitted by the selectors before or after events are staged.

“To me, wid the JAMMS and di JACAP ting, a big robbery. A big robbery a gwaan. Because JACAP a collect money and JAMMS a collect money and yo si dem money deh weh dem a collect, we who a play di artiste dem music we suppose to a mek playlist a di artiste dem songs dem weh wi a play a night, so das di artiste dem can know wha and wha wi a play, seen?” Trooper said.

“Dem a collect money and dem money deh weh dem a collect, which artiste a get it? If me play 14 Bounty Killa and mi play 15 Sizzla, dem who a collect di money, how dem know say mi play dem artiste deh?” Trooper said.

In the case of music selectors like Ricky Trooper, who play music from their laptops in places which are open to the public, they are required to have a JACAP licence which allows the public use of music.

JACAP is member-owned, and collects licensing fees which are distributed as royalties to rights holders and the organisation’s affiliates globally. Users of music for any commercial or entertainment event, are required to have a JACAP licence, with failure resulting in injunctions, fines or imprisonment.

The JAMMS on the other hand, is also a non-governmental, non-profit organization. It was established in 2006 under Jamaica’s Copyright Act, to administer the intellectual property rights granted to record producers, meaning owners of the master sound recordings.

In addition to collecting and distributing royalties, JAMMS is mandated to manage the broadcasting and public performance rights of its members, including through the granting of licences to music users such as radio broadcasters, television broadcasters, webcasters, cable operators, clubs operators, restaurants, gyms, party organizers and show promoters, who are all required to obtain permits under the law.

JAMMS also represents major international recording companies including SONYBMG, UNIVERSAL, WARNER MUSIC and EMI and has reciprocal agreements with foreign collecting societies in European countries such as Holland, Germany and France.