As a music professional based in the Eastern Caribbean the fact that the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO) is this year moving towards the administration of Related Rights is something which could possibly have a positive effect on your music earnings. For starters, it means there will be another stream of music royalties generated in our region—related rights royalties, which will be payable to performers and phonogram producers. It also means that ECCO will have two new sets of active members; performer members and phonogram producer members.
A phonogram producer is essentially the owner of the sound recording, and shouldn’t be confused with the studio producer or music producer. We’ll expound more on who a phonogram producer is and who he is not, in our next blog post, so please stay take a read.
Basically the law governing related rights (also referred to as neighbouring rights), gives performers and phonogram producers the right to be paid when their recorded music is played. However, while the law requires economic compensation to related rights holders for use of their sound recordings, there has never before been an entity within the ECCO territories charged with the responsibility of administering those rights. ECCO will sign agreements with the member companies of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and will take on this responsibility serving as the link between users of sound recordings on one hand and the performers on sound recordings and phonogram producers on the other hand. ECCO also intends to sign bilateral and/or unilateral agreements with foreign societies that administer related rights starting with those in the Caribbean such as JAMMs in Jamaica and COSCAP in Barbados.
Essentially in much the same way as ECCO currently licenses the use of songs and distributes the fees to the creators and other copyright owners of those songs—principally songwriters and music publishers—, once ECCO begins to administer related rights, the organization will also license the use of sound recordings of music played in public or broadcast on radio or TV and then distribute those fees to performer and phonogram producer members.
Following the current model for distribution of performance royalties, the expectation is that after operating costs, the amount due to each member, based on sound recording plays will be distributed as royalties. Since related rights apply to performers and phonogram producers the standard expectation is that the royalty amount for a single recording play will be divided into two shares—performer’s share and rightsholder’s share. The standard share split in the music industry allocates 50% to all the performers and 50% to the phonogram producer.
Generally any individual who made an audible contribution to a recording may qualify for a percentage of the performers’ share of related rights royalties. These include the principal performers/artists as well as background singers, session musicians, drummers, percussionists etc.
Picture obtained from: http://blogtrans.megatrax.com/quick-reference-guide-music-rights-royalties/