;
;
;

The Way Forward in Antigua & Barbuda, ECCO Inc.

View more
View less

An executive team from the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization (ECCO) Inc. visited Antigua & Barbuda during June12th to 15th after a flurry of frank, informative and passionate discussions about the organization's tariff, timing and mandate occupied the airwaves, print and social media (for a number of weeks) in Antigua & Barbuda.

From St. Lucia, the CEO and Operations Manager participated in several of those discussions over telecommunication services; however, it was deemed necessary that they meet face to face with persons/groups representing both sides of the divide.

The visiting team comprised the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Davis Joseph; the Operations Manager, Ms. Vanesta Mortley and the Chair of the board, Ms. Vernalderine Francis. Ms. Francis is a Kittitian and the first female Chair since ECCO's humble beginning in January 2000 as a local organization called HMS (Hewanorra Musical Society).

On Thursday, June 13, ECCO’s Executive team met with a representative group of the music industry that included promoters and other music users, musicians, managers, songwriters and the Director of the Festivals Commission. On June 14, ECCO met with Former Agent, Vaughan Skerritt, Senator Aziza Lake and subsequently, with Honourable Daryll Matthew—Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts—Corporal Karim Warner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and ECCO’s Agent, Bernard De Nully. Later that day, a general meeting was held with the ECCO membership and other interested persons to provide them with an update on ECCO’s visit and to hear their perspectives and recommendations on the push back from Promoters.

The many discussions highlighted two key matters that will underpin the successful implementation of the ECCO’s mandate as the sub-regional licensing body for music copyright. The first was the need to amplify ECCO’s education and public relations efforts to coincide with the work of its new Agent and secondly, the need to adapt ECCO’s method of approach in order to make the most of the substantial spotlight that it now had in the media, in a manner that reaches the majority of music users and builds lasting collaborative relationships with all interested parties.

Having taken the concerns and recommendation of all sides into consideration, ECCO Inc would like to make the following statements:

It is the legal and moral obligation of each music user to remunerate songwriters and music publishers for their creative works through the payment of annual licenses or event permits. (The Copyright Act, 2003 (Antigua and Barbuda) No. 22 of 2003).

ECCO Inc acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation and support given by the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda over the past weeks in reference to the procedure(s) implemented at lessening copyright infringement.

We sincerely appreciate, and were duly enlightened by, the perspective passed on to us by the Honourable Minister in reference to how (without sufficient public awareness and a renewed educational campaign), music users might perceive strict enforcement by the Police as an indication that the Royal Police Force is at the employ of ECCO Inc. The optics are far from the reality. We believe the Police Force is deserving of commendation for disrupting the status quo and taking an active role in protecting Antigua’s copyright laws that have been in existence in Antigua & Barbuda since 1919.

We gave the most serious consideration to the recommendations given to us for a six-month Amnesty for Antigua & Barbuda. And, along with that consideration, we deliberated on the critical task of ensuring that the work ECCO was mandated to perform (on behalf of its songwriters and music publishers) does
not come to a grinding halt in Antigua & Barbuda.

There is no easy way to satisfy the interest of all parties but ECCO’s Executive Team came to Antigua to be enlightened and to take decisive actions that would lead to the creation of the most ideal environment that, in the final analysis, facilitates collection of royalties and provides the greatest benefit for ECCO’s membership and paves the way for a long term and cordial relationship with music users.

In the interest of goodwill, equitability and the music industry at large, ECCO would like to announce an optional six-month amnesty to be rolled out accordingly:

Optional Amnesty Details

1. For music users who are not licensed (as at June 30, 2019) and require more time for budgetary reasons or out of the need for further education, or both, you may choose to accept the amnesty from July until December 31, 2019. Your invoicing will begin from January 1, 2020.

2. For music users who agree to be licensed now because their circumstances and convictions drive them to support the protection and payment of music copyright without further delay (during the period of Optional Amnesty), the following applies:
a) Annual Licenses - You will receive a 50% discount on your annual licensing fees from July 2019 to June 2020.
b) Permits (Including promoters) For permit applicants, you will receive a 50% discount for all events held from July 2019 to December 2019. And you will have the option of having a further 50% discount either for the months of January 2020 to June 2020 or from July 2020 to December 2020—whichever will be most beneficial to your  business. The combined total of 12 months at a 50% discount rate will be the ballpark equivalent of the six-month amnesty that your fellow promoters will enjoy from July 2019 to December 2019.

3. For the music users who have been loyally supporting music copyright for years, or who became compliant before or in June 2019, we do appreciate your participation and so the following applies to you:

a) Annual Licenses - At the time of your renewal (either in 2019 or 2020), you may apply for a 50% discount on your new annual music license.
b) Permits (Including—Promoters) - You may apply for the same treatment as outlined in 2b above. Note well that the new implementation strategy represents a very significant effort on the part of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization to address the concerns of the music users, members and stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda. It will have financial implications on the operations of the organization.

The much-discussed 5% tariff, which only applies to Concerts and Events and which becomes 2.5% when tickets are all-inclusive, are not included (as a matter for reduction) in this conciliatory Optional Amnesty arrangement. The Optional Amnesty is also not retroactive. To expound, if you are currently on a payment plan with ECCO or if you have already entered into an agreement to pay ECCO Inc., this amnesty does not cancel these obligations. You are eligible for any amnesty benefits in 2020.
This optional amnesty does not de-emphasize the importance of paying annual music licenses and permits; neither does it absolve music users of that obligation but rather facilitates the necessary conditions for its implementation in full as of January 1, 2020.


From the Board and Management of:
The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc.

The Way Forward in Antigua & Barbuda, ECCO Inc.

An executive team from the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization (ECCO) Inc. visited Antigua & Barbuda during June12th to 15th after a flurry of frank, informative and passionate discussions about the organization's tariff, timing and mandate occupied the airwaves, print and social media (for a number of weeks) in Antigua & Barbuda.

From St. Lucia, the CEO and Operations Manager participated in several of those discussions over telecommunication services; however, it was deemed necessary that they meet face to face with persons/groups representing both sides of the divide.

The visiting team comprised the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Davis Joseph; the Operations Manager, Ms. Vanesta Mortley and the Chair of the board, Ms. Vernalderine Francis. Ms. Francis is a Kittitian and the first female Chair since ECCO's humble beginning in January 2000 as a local organization called HMS (Hewanorra Musical Society).

On Thursday, June 13, ECCO’s Executive team met with a representative group of the music industry that included promoters and other music users, musicians, managers, songwriters and the Director of the Festivals Commission. On June 14, ECCO met with Former Agent, Vaughan Skerritt, Senator Aziza Lake and subsequently, with Honourable Daryll Matthew—Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts—Corporal Karim Warner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and ECCO’s Agent, Bernard De Nully. Later that day, a general meeting was held with the ECCO membership and other interested persons to provide them with an update on ECCO’s visit and to hear their perspectives and recommendations on the push back from Promoters.

The many discussions highlighted two key matters that will underpin the successful implementation of the ECCO’s mandate as the sub-regional licensing body for music copyright. The first was the need to amplify ECCO’s education and public relations efforts to coincide with the work of its new Agent and secondly, the need to adapt ECCO’s method of approach in order to make the most of the substantial spotlight that it now had in the media, in a manner that reaches the majority of music users and builds lasting collaborative relationships with all interested parties.

Having taken the concerns and recommendation of all sides into consideration, ECCO Inc would like to make the following statements:

It is the legal and moral obligation of each music user to remunerate songwriters and music publishers for their creative works through the payment of annual licenses or event permits. (The Copyright Act, 2003 (Antigua and Barbuda) No. 22 of 2003).

ECCO Inc acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation and support given by the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda over the past weeks in reference to the procedure(s) implemented at lessening copyright infringement.

We sincerely appreciate, and were duly enlightened by, the perspective passed on to us by the Honourable Minister in reference to how (without sufficient public awareness and a renewed educational campaign), music users might perceive strict enforcement by the Police as an indication that the Royal Police Force is at the employ of ECCO Inc. The optics are far from the reality. We believe the Police Force is deserving of commendation for disrupting the status quo and taking an active role in protecting Antigua’s copyright laws that have been in existence in Antigua & Barbuda since 1919.

We gave the most serious consideration to the recommendations given to us for a six-month Amnesty for Antigua & Barbuda. And, along with that consideration, we deliberated on the critical task of ensuring that the work ECCO was mandated to perform (on behalf of its songwriters and music publishers) does
not come to a grinding halt in Antigua & Barbuda.

There is no easy way to satisfy the interest of all parties but ECCO’s Executive Team came to Antigua to be enlightened and to take decisive actions that would lead to the creation of the most ideal environment that, in the final analysis, facilitates collection of royalties and provides the greatest benefit for ECCO’s membership and paves the way for a long term and cordial relationship with music users.

In the interest of goodwill, equitability and the music industry at large, ECCO would like to announce an optional six-month amnesty to be rolled out accordingly:

Optional Amnesty Details

1. For music users who are not licensed (as at June 30, 2019) and require more time for budgetary reasons or out of the need for further education, or both, you may choose to accept the amnesty from July until December 31, 2019. Your invoicing will begin from January 1, 2020.

2. For music users who agree to be licensed now because their circumstances and convictions drive them to support the protection and payment of music copyright without further delay (during the period of Optional Amnesty), the following applies:
a) Annual Licenses - You will receive a 50% discount on your annual licensing fees from July 2019 to June 2020.
b) Permits (Including promoters) For permit applicants, you will receive a 50% discount for all events held from July 2019 to December 2019. And you will have the option of having a further 50% discount either for the months of January 2020 to June 2020 or from July 2020 to December 2020—whichever will be most beneficial to your  business. The combined total of 12 months at a 50% discount rate will be the ballpark equivalent of the six-month amnesty that your fellow promoters will enjoy from July 2019 to December 2019.

3. For the music users who have been loyally supporting music copyright for years, or who became compliant before or in June 2019, we do appreciate your participation and so the following applies to you:

a) Annual Licenses - At the time of your renewal (either in 2019 or 2020), you may apply for a 50% discount on your new annual music license.
b) Permits (Including—Promoters) - You may apply for the same treatment as outlined in 2b above. Note well that the new implementation strategy represents a very significant effort on the part of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization to address the concerns of the music users, members and stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda. It will have financial implications on the operations of the organization.

The much-discussed 5% tariff, which only applies to Concerts and Events and which becomes 2.5% when tickets are all-inclusive, are not included (as a matter for reduction) in this conciliatory Optional Amnesty arrangement. The Optional Amnesty is also not retroactive. To expound, if you are currently on a payment plan with ECCO or if you have already entered into an agreement to pay ECCO Inc., this amnesty does not cancel these obligations. You are eligible for any amnesty benefits in 2020.
This optional amnesty does not de-emphasize the importance of paying annual music licenses and permits; neither does it absolve music users of that obligation but rather facilitates the necessary conditions for its implementation in full as of January 1, 2020.


From the Board and Management of:
The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc.

The Way Forward in Antigua & Barbuda, ECCO Inc.

An executive team from the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization (ECCO) Inc. visited Antigua & Barbuda during June12th to 15th after a flurry of frank, informative and passionate discussions about the organization's tariff, timing and mandate occupied the airwaves, print and social media (for a number of weeks) in Antigua & Barbuda.

From St. Lucia, the CEO and Operations Manager participated in several of those discussions over telecommunication services; however, it was deemed necessary that they meet face to face with persons/groups representing both sides of the divide.

The visiting team comprised the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Davis Joseph; the Operations Manager, Ms. Vanesta Mortley and the Chair of the board, Ms. Vernalderine Francis. Ms. Francis is a Kittitian and the first female Chair since ECCO's humble beginning in January 2000 as a local organization called HMS (Hewanorra Musical Society).

On Thursday, June 13, ECCO’s Executive team met with a representative group of the music industry that included promoters and other music users, musicians, managers, songwriters and the Director of the Festivals Commission. On June 14, ECCO met with Former Agent, Vaughan Skerritt, Senator Aziza Lake and subsequently, with Honourable Daryll Matthew—Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts—Corporal Karim Warner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and ECCO’s Agent, Bernard De Nully. Later that day, a general meeting was held with the ECCO membership and other interested persons to provide them with an update on ECCO’s visit and to hear their perspectives and recommendations on the push back from Promoters.

The many discussions highlighted two key matters that will underpin the successful implementation of the ECCO’s mandate as the sub-regional licensing body for music copyright. The first was the need to amplify ECCO’s education and public relations efforts to coincide with the work of its new Agent and secondly, the need to adapt ECCO’s method of approach in order to make the most of the substantial spotlight that it now had in the media, in a manner that reaches the majority of music users and builds lasting collaborative relationships with all interested parties.

Having taken the concerns and recommendation of all sides into consideration, ECCO Inc would like to make the following statements:

It is the legal and moral obligation of each music user to remunerate songwriters and music publishers for their creative works through the payment of annual licenses or event permits. (The Copyright Act, 2003 (Antigua and Barbuda) No. 22 of 2003).

ECCO Inc acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation and support given by the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda over the past weeks in reference to the procedure(s) implemented at lessening copyright infringement.

We sincerely appreciate, and were duly enlightened by, the perspective passed on to us by the Honourable Minister in reference to how (without sufficient public awareness and a renewed educational campaign), music users might perceive strict enforcement by the Police as an indication that the Royal Police Force is at the employ of ECCO Inc. The optics are far from the reality. We believe the Police Force is deserving of commendation for disrupting the status quo and taking an active role in protecting Antigua’s copyright laws that have been in existence in Antigua & Barbuda since 1919.

We gave the most serious consideration to the recommendations given to us for a six-month Amnesty for Antigua & Barbuda. And, along with that consideration, we deliberated on the critical task of ensuring that the work ECCO was mandated to perform (on behalf of its songwriters and music publishers) does
not come to a grinding halt in Antigua & Barbuda.

There is no easy way to satisfy the interest of all parties but ECCO’s Executive Team came to Antigua to be enlightened and to take decisive actions that would lead to the creation of the most ideal environment that, in the final analysis, facilitates collection of royalties and provides the greatest benefit for ECCO’s membership and paves the way for a long term and cordial relationship with music users.

In the interest of goodwill, equitability and the music industry at large, ECCO would like to announce an optional six-month amnesty to be rolled out accordingly:

Optional Amnesty Details

1. For music users who are not licensed (as at June 30, 2019) and require more time for budgetary reasons or out of the need for further education, or both, you may choose to accept the amnesty from July until December 31, 2019. Your invoicing will begin from January 1, 2020.

2. For music users who agree to be licensed now because their circumstances and convictions drive them to support the protection and payment of music copyright without further delay (during the period of Optional Amnesty), the following applies:
a) Annual Licenses - You will receive a 50% discount on your annual licensing fees from July 2019 to June 2020.
b) Permits (Including promoters) For permit applicants, you will receive a 50% discount for all events held from July 2019 to December 2019. And you will have the option of having a further 50% discount either for the months of January 2020 to June 2020 or from July 2020 to December 2020—whichever will be most beneficial to your  business. The combined total of 12 months at a 50% discount rate will be the ballpark equivalent of the six-month amnesty that your fellow promoters will enjoy from July 2019 to December 2019.

3. For the music users who have been loyally supporting music copyright for years, or who became compliant before or in June 2019, we do appreciate your participation and so the following applies to you:

a) Annual Licenses - At the time of your renewal (either in 2019 or 2020), you may apply for a 50% discount on your new annual music license.
b) Permits (Including—Promoters) - You may apply for the same treatment as outlined in 2b above. Note well that the new implementation strategy represents a very significant effort on the part of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization to address the concerns of the music users, members and stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda. It will have financial implications on the operations of the organization.

The much-discussed 5% tariff, which only applies to Concerts and Events and which becomes 2.5% when tickets are all-inclusive, are not included (as a matter for reduction) in this conciliatory Optional Amnesty arrangement. The Optional Amnesty is also not retroactive. To expound, if you are currently on a payment plan with ECCO or if you have already entered into an agreement to pay ECCO Inc., this amnesty does not cancel these obligations. You are eligible for any amnesty benefits in 2020.
This optional amnesty does not de-emphasize the importance of paying annual music licenses and permits; neither does it absolve music users of that obligation but rather facilitates the necessary conditions for its implementation in full as of January 1, 2020.


From the Board and Management of:
The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc.

Music Users

When music is played in any business, and is audible to members of the public or members of staff, then you are required to obtain copyright clearance for the public performance that you are giving. ECCO provides this clearance by means of our public performance licence.
get a licence Tariffs

Music Creators

If you are a writer of melodies and or lyrics to an original song or the music publisher who enters into an agreement with a writer or an arranger of works from the public domain, then you can join ECCO. Not a member yet? Click the button below for more.
join ecco Member Login