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ECCO recognises its first music user

ECCO recognises its first music user

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For better protection of their music, Vincentian artistes are being encouraged to register and become members of the First Citizens Investment Services, a licensed music user.{{more}}

The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc on Monday officially recognized the First Citizens Investment Services as its first licensed music user in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

ECCO, whose headquarters is in St Lucia, came into existence in January 2009. The organization was incorporated in St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2010 and received its license as the authorized Collective Management from CIPO in June 2011.

Registrar of the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Andrea Young-Lewis, speaking at a ceremony held at the UWI Open Campus, said the new legislation provides an opening and opportunities for persons in the music industry here.

“The main feature of this legislation is that no person is authorized to use music without first having the consent of the rights holder – the person who owns the copyright, the writers and producers. And it allows for the payment of royalties by persons who intend to use music for commercial gain or public events,” she explained.

Lewis, however, said it will take a collective approach by everyone involved in order for persons to comply with the new legislation.

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, who also spoke at the ceremony, supported Lewis’s statement in regard to getting persons to comply.

“But once we work together, I think we can make things happen,” he said.

He stated that the laws are there and it is part of the role of the police to help to enforce those laws.

“And I can promise ECCO that we will go as far as possible to ensure that the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines are maintained.

Cultural Officer Anthony Theobalds, in his remarks, explained that the implementation of ECCO through the First Citizens Investment Services has had a long genesis.

He said for many years, artistes here have struggled to have their music protected.

“We have finally gotten here to today, when we can congratulate First Citizens Investment Services for being the first licensee…

“Today’s licensing is significant for the fact that it responds to a local rights management organization,” Theobalds said.

He implored persons who utilize the music recorded and produced by local artistes to be compliant.

“ECCO has a range of fees and will make it possible to allow people to be compliant without breaking your pocket.

“The laws exist. The rights management association exists; let us follow and do what needs to be done,” he further stated.

Monday’s ceremony also featured a performance by local calypsonian Kenneth “Vibrating Scakes” Alleyne, who rendered the song “Invest in Music”, which he performed when he won the Calypso Monarch title in 1983. He also performed the popular “Our Nation Is Born”, which earned him the Independence Calypso Monarch crown in 1979, the year that St Vincent and the Grenadines gained its independence from Britain.

Among the member states of ECCO are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, all of whom have representatives on ECCO’s Board of Directors.

This country’s representative on ECCO’s Board of Directors is Joffre Venner. The local agent is Bernard Joseph. (AA)

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