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  • The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JCAP) is imploring users of creative works, such as media entities, to ensure that they comply with the Copyright Law.
  • The warning comes against the background of a recent Supreme Court ruling against a cable company for copyright infringement involving the work of an overseas composer.
  • The ruling also established that JCAP has the authority to do collection on behalf of persons outside of Jamaica, once they have membership in one of the 28 associations that are affiliated with the organisation.

The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JCAP) is imploring users of creative works, such as media entities, to ensure that they comply with the Copyright Law.

The warning comes against the background of a recent Supreme Court ruling against a cable company for copyright infringement involving the work of an overseas composer.

The ruling also established that JCAP has the authority to do collection on behalf of persons outside of Jamaica, once they have membership in one of the 28 associations that are affiliated with the organisation.

Attorney-at-law, Christopher Henry, who represents JCAP, said that “a clear message has been sent that persons must obey the law”.

“Once persons or entities receive a letter from the organisation requesting payment, please let us not go to court, because you will lose. Just comply with the Copyright Law; the Act is there, and it is clear. Copyright is to be complied with and royalties are to be paid over to the collecting agency,” he added.

Mr. Henry was addressing a press conference held at JCAP’s Connolley Avenue offices on Wednesday (December 12).

General Manager at JCAP, Lydia Rose, reported that in 2017, the entity collected over $169 million on behalf of its members, noting that the compliance rate is about 70 per cent.

She is imploring users of creative work to “value our members’ creativity”, noting that the entity will not hesitate to seek legal redress to protect its members.

Assistant General Manager at the Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency, Philippa Davies, for her part, hailed the decision by the court as “an important legal statement to encourage a culture of copyright compliance, and this ruling can only help us in our work”.

JACAP is a nonprofit copyright collecting society that manages performing and recording rights in musical works.

It acquires performing and recording rights from its composers, authors and music publishers, and from its overseas affiliates. The group licenses (or gives permission for the use of) those rights, collects licence fees in return for the grant of licences and distributes royalties to its members and affiliates.

The organisation was incorporated on March 4, 1998 as a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital under the Companies Act of Jamaica, and operates and administers rights granted under the Copyright Act of 1993, and by extension the Jamaica Copyright (Amendment) Act 1999. It is owned by its members, composers, authors and publishers of musical works.