Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fete on: promoters of ‘Soaka’ secure licence


Mark Fraser

 Anxious supporters of ‘Soaka’ can breathe a sigh of relief because the fete is back on schedule.

Following a media release on Thursday, in which the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) sought an injunction against the promoters of the event for failing to secure a COTT licence for the public performance of its members’ works, the Organisation issued a subsequent release yesterday which thanked the promoters for securing the licence.

The release said COTT was “pleased to announce that they (organisers) have secured a COTT copyright licence”.

It further stated that “the promoters of the highly-anticipated event, scheduled to take place on Sunday, have joined the list of events for this weekend that have already secured the requisite COTT licence for the public performance of its members’  works”.

The list of events include Chutney Soca Monarch (semi-finals), Loose Till Dawn, Maz ‘Life’ All-Inclusive, Old Hilarians All-Inclusive, and UWI All-Inclusive. COTT advised that it is “mandatory to obtain a COTT copyright licence from the organisation for the public performance of its members’ works”.

It added that it “remains the only collective management organisation in Trinidad and Tobago that has direct reciprocal agreements with international copyright agencies worldwide to collect royalties on behalf of their members. COTT remains focused on serving its members and ensuring the fair value for intellectual property rights”.

Earlier yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO) issued a release in response to the Express article.

It stated that the TTCO “is the only copyright collective management               organisation that has the remit for the ‘works of mas’ and live performance rights under neighbouring rights.

 The TTCO said that COTT’s allegations in their initial release were “very misleading” as the TTCO is the only collective management                                        organisation that has the remit for live performances. 

“As indicated on COTT’s website, they cover author/composer, publishing and mechanical rights,” the TTCO release stated. “Therefore we challenge COTT’s claim on live performance rights.”

It explained that under the Ministry of Legal Affairs website, ‘Get your party licence”, “Any performance outside the                                                                                                                         normal domestic circle is public. At any public party both the promoter and the DJ are required to obtain a licence from the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago and/or the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Organisation (TTCO) to play music”.

The TTCO said: “It is of great concern as to why o ur sister organisation in copyright is threatening this particular promoter who has duly licensed his event, according to chapter 82:80 of the Copyright Act of Trinidad and Tobago.”