JACAP talks tough 

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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The Jamaica Association of Composers, Artistes and Publishers (JACAP) has intensified its campaign to ensure copyright owners are compensated for their work.

According to JACAP director, Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke, the organisation plans to turn up the heat against media houses.

"Many media entities owe millions of dollars for copyright fees to JACAP members and we have been trying for years to get them to pay up," he told the Jamaica Observer.

According to Clarke, JACAP has held several meetings with the 'guilty' parties whom he did not name. He says the lack of results has left the organisation no choice but to take their grouse to the courts.

"Even if it means shutting down those entities to recover the fees. We are willing to go that far if that's what it takes to protect the interests of copyright owners," he warned.

JACAP was established in March 1998 and began operating in January 1999 as a non-profit organisation. It replaced the London-based Performing Rights Society (PRS) as the collective administration of music copyright in Jamaica.

JACAP general manager, Lydia Rose, says the organisation currently has 3227 members throughout the Caribbean.

She told the Observer that JACAP recently acquired the services of a litigator because of "the deliberate non-payment of license fees by users, mainly broadcasters and restaurants."

According to Clarke, before the litigators take action, JACAP will make one last attempt to reach out to delinquents through a public relations drive, starting in July.

"It is aimed at getting a greater sense of compliance. We have chosen July because we have a greater audience as the World Cup matches will be taking place," he said.

The next payment to JACAP members is also slated for July.

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