JACAP launches crackdown campaign

BY Cecelia Campbell-Livingston Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 05, 2012

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THIS week, the Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP) embarks on a public education campaign to ensure greater compliance by Jamaican rights users.

According to JACAP director, Gussie Clarke, the campaign will run for three months. He said tough measures will be taken against delinquents.

"We have already engaged the services of an Intellectual Property attorney for this matter and part of the legal advice is that we launch this campaign," said Clarke.

JACAP is a non-profit organisation which has been in existence for over 12 years. It is still struggling with compliance by players in the entertainment industry which includes "popular artistes keeping annual events, popular sports bars in New Kingston and top cable providers".

With record sales falling as much as 80 per cent, Clarke says performance rights allows songwriters to survive by earning income from their work. But he points out that non-compliance is the greatest hindrance to artistes whose works are being illegally used by above-mentioned entities.

During the next three months, Clarke says a video about copyright and its spinoffs will be shown on television as well as in Palace cinemas, and will also air on radio.

He stressed that JACAP is still committed to negotiate with rights users.

"What they want and have been attempting to do is not to be licensed but to send ad hoc payments whenever and whatever amount they feel. This is unacceptable and disrespectful to Jamaican music creators," said Clarke.

Clarke also addressed concerns by JACAP's estimated 3,000 members who feel they are not getting funds due to them.

"It's not every time a record is played they will receive payment. Not every radio station is licensed and even if they are, they don't always have the right documentation for their works to be identified," Clarke explained.

He said the most compliant companies have been the RJR Group, Power 106 FM and Palace Amusement Company.

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