View below our full list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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About ECCO

How is ECCO Run?

ECCO policy and management are determined by a Board of Directors, elected by the general membership, which comprises of: - 6 writers & 2 publishers from St. Lucia, one Director elected from Steering Committees in Antigua, Dominica, Grenada & St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The current Board of Directors has a mandate to transform the organization to a position of one Director per member state. The Board delegates the day to day running of ECCO to a General Manager and other employees.

What is ECCO and what is its basic role?

ECCO is known as a Collective Management Organization ‘CMO’ because its primary role is to administer certain intellectual property rights on behalf of its members in the Eastern Caribbean and through reciprocal agreements, of creators throughout the world. ECCO collects fees by issuing licences to music users granting them permission and authority to the restrictive acts as defined in the various Copyright Acts of the region, including; public performances, broadcasting, communication to the public, reproduction etc. In order to make royalty payments to its members, ECCO needs to know what music is being used. ECCO use a digital monitoring system to monitor what certain audio and audio-visual stations play with some radio stations also providing ECCO with detailed reports of the music they play. For many major live events such as; St. Lucia Jazz, Dominica World Creole Music festival, Carnivals and other festivals across the regions, ECCO sends its agents to obtain information first hand on the songs performed. Due to the huge number of public performances that take place every year in bars, nightclubs hotels etc. it is impossible to track every performance that occurs therefore ECCO distributes General Licence revenue against the data supplied by the radio stations and a sample of small live events.

ECCO also collects royalties from around the world for its members through reciprocal agreements with other CMO’s overseas.

ECCO is a non-profit making organisation. Having recovered its running costs it pays the remaining money collected to the members identified on logs supplied by the radio stations and data collected from major events.

What service does ECCO perform for Members?

It would be impossible for individual composers, authors or publishers of music to monitor the use of their works, issue licences and collect royalties from broadcast and from public performances of their music across the Eastern Caribbean and the rest of the world. Therefore, the basic role of ECCO is to: (a) grant licences to music users (radio and television stations, restaurants, bars, hotels, DJ's, etc.) for the public performance of music in the Eastern Caribbean; (b) collect licence fees and (c) distribute royalties to its members and foreign copyright owners whose works ECCO also control through reciprocal agreements.

ECCO administers the ‘performing right’ in musical works through an assignment of these rights by the original owners (its members who are also the creators). There are three components in the administration of these rights by ECCO: the Creator, the User and ECCO. The CREATOR holds the original rights in his creation and is entitled to be compensated for the use of his creation. The USER of the creator's property needs the permission of the creator for each use. This is where ECCO comes in. The CREATOR assigns certain rights to ECCO to administer and ECCO in turn grants a licence to the USER (usually a blanket licence) for use of ECCO’s repertoire. The licence fees paid by the USER are collected and distributed back to the CREATOR by ECCO in the form of royalties.

Can ECCO protect our music overseas?

Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) similar to ECCO exist in most countries of the world. Under direct reciprocal representation agreements between ECCO and these CMOs’, the Members of ECCO are represented all over the world including; the UK, USA, Spain, Switzerland, France, South Africa, Portugal, Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and some 100 more. Consequently if, for example, musical works of an ECCO member are publicly performed in the USA, one of the three USA societies will have authority to license the performance and remit the royalties to ECCO after deduction of expenses. In turn ECCO is responsible for administering the rights in the Eastern Caribbean for international creators.

What about Regional Co-operation?

The four societies of the eEnglish speaking Caribbean, COSCAP (Barbados), COTT (Trinidad & Tobago), JACAP (Jamaica) and ECCO (OECS Territories) are founding members and are joined by associate members:; ACDAM (Cuba), BSCAP (Belize), JAMCOPY (Jamaica), JAMMS (Jamaica) and SASUR (Surinam) in an umbrella organization called the (ACCS) Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies. One of the main purposes of ACCS is to share resources and to cut down on operating costs. The lead project is the sharing of a database known as SGS (developed by the Spanish society SGAE), which enables the documentation necessary for accurate administration of authors rights by the four societies to be maintained centrally and for these details to be easily ‘exported' to other Societies where the ACCS repertoire is used. Conversely, as the region uses a large percentage of the US/European repertoire, the SGS database is used to ‘import' the ‘active' catalogue of our sister Societies so that accurate and full distributions can be made.


What is Copyright?

Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It allows an original work to be considered a property that is owned by somebody. It is a form of property right which exists in certain categories of protected works and in its simpler form means the right to copy. Under Copyright Law, permission must be obtained before copyright works can be used. As well as existing in original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, copyright protection is also afforded to; sound recordings; films; broadcasts (including broadcasts via wire or cable) and typographical arrangements of published editions.

When does Copyright begin?

In music, copyright begins automatically once a piece of music is created, and documented or recorded (e.g. on video, tape or CD or simply writing down the notation of a score).

Does ECCO copyright music on my behalf?

Registering your music with ECCO or any other CMO does not create copyright. If you follow the suggestions outlined below you have a better chance of proving you own the copyright if any of your music is disputed.

How do you protect your music as a songwriter?

Currently, no official form of registration is available. In our territories, all original music is protected by copyright from the time it is recorded or written down in some format. It is important to be able to prove that you own the copyright of a particular recording or work. To do this we suggest the following:

  • Send a copy of the recording to yourself by 'Special Delivery'. Clearly mark the envelope so you know what music it holds but keep it sealed. and/or
  • Store a copy with your solicitor or bank manager. Remember to keep a receipt and be aware that this method is likely to cost you some money.
What are your rights as a Copyright owner?

If you own the copyright you possess the exclusive right to do, authorize, prohibit the following acts in relation to the work: reproduction (copy) of the work.

Translation of the work.

  • Adaptation, arrangements or other transformation of the work.
  • The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale, rental or otherwise.
  • Rental or public lending of the original or a copy on audiovisual work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer programme, a database or a musical work in the form of notation, irrespective of the ownership of the original or copy concerned.
  • Importation of copies of the work, even where the imported copies were made with the authorisation of the copyright owner.
  • Public display of the original or a copy of the work.
  • Public performance of the work.
  • Broadcastinmg of the work
  • Communication to the public (such as internet) of the work
What happens to your rights when you become a member of ECCO?

When you join ECCO you assign certain rights to the society to administer on your behalf. These include:

  • to perform the music in the public (concerts, pubs, shops etc)
  • to communicate the music to the public (including broadcasting, broadcasting on demand and use of music on the Internet interactive services, including satellite and cable transmissions)

ECCO acts as an agent on your behalf, to administer the following rights:

  • to copy the music (pressing CDs, downloads)
  • to issue copies of the work to the public (sale of CDs, tapes or vinyl in shops)
  • to rent or lend the work to the public (renting videos, tapes, CDs, library lending)
How long does copyright last?

In the Eastern Caribbean, copyright generally lasts for a period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.

Note: everything created privately and originally after January 1, 2006 is copyrighted and protected whether it has a notice or not. (Berne Copyright Convention). Copyright is established the moment a work is fixed in a tangible form.

Types of Copyright

Public Performing Right
The exclusive right of the copyright owner, granted by the Copyright Law, to authorize the performance or transmission of the work in public.

Reproduction Right
The exclusive right of the copyright owner, granted by the Copyright Act, to authorize the reproduction of a musical work as in a record, cassette or CD.

Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings
Sound Exchange along with Record Companies license the exclusive rights on behalf of copyright owners in a sound recording.


Why do I need an ECCO License?

By Copyright law (Enacted in each Eastern Caribbean State), if you wish to use copyright music in public you must first get the permission of each copyright owner, an impossible task without ECCO!

What is an ECCO license?

A license from ECCO gives you the right to use copyright music in public through one single transaction. This saves you the time and effort that would otherwise be required to contact each individual copyright owner to clear each individual piece of music you wish to play prior to such use as required by law.

How does ECCO’s licensing work?

An ECCO license runs from year to year unless determined by either party serving the required notice as provided for in the license. ECCO has a license for every type of music use, however, licenses usually fall in one of the following groups: - Broadcasting Agreements entered with: Radio & TV Stations and Cable Operators, General Licensing in the form of either a yearly ‘blanket' license (for hotels, bars, restaurants etc.) or a per-event license (such as concerts and other events featuring music). ECCO has recently introduced an internet streaming and music download licensing and Ringtone licensing.

Don't the performers need to have a license?

Musicians or other artists whom you may have engaged or permitted to perform do not need an ECCO license – you do. Musicians do not own the administration rights in their works once they have joined any of the 120 or so CMOs world-wide. The either assign or licenses these rights to the CMO. ECCO therefore owns these rights by direct assignments from its members and through reciprocal agreements with other CMOs.

What does an ECCO license cost?

The cost of an ECCO license depends on the type of premises being licensed and the extent of music usage. ECCO applies a variety of rates for all types of premises. So,different license fees will be paid, for example, by restaurants, shops, bars, hotels, guest houses, factories, offices, discos, cinemas, ships, one-off events and many others. The ECCO Tariff is available on this website.

Types of Licensing

Public Performance License
ECCO Inc. issues licenses on behalf of the copyright owner or his agent granting the right to perform the work in, or transmit the work to, the public.

Mechanical License
ECCO Inc. issues licenses on behalf of the copyright owner or his agent, usually to a record company, granting the record company the right to reproduce and distribute a specific composition at an agreed upon fee per unit manufactured.

Synchronization License
Music Publishers issue licenses as copyright owner or his agent, usually to a producer, granting the right to synchronize the musical composition in timed relation with audio-visual images on film or videotape.