Permission to use copyrighted musical works and sound recordings at Carnival and other events must be obtained from the respective collective management organisations (CMOs) appointed by the owners of these works.
This is according to a release from the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, which said owners give permission to CMOs to administer the licensing of content, collection of royalties and reinforcement of rights on their behalf. TT has four registered CMOs that administer intellectual property rights on behalf of content creators, the release said.
The Copyright Music Organisation of TT (COTT), TT Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO) and Awesome Copyright represent local musical repertoire based on their respective membership while the Trinidad and Tobago Reprographic Rights Organisation is the only CMO for reprographic rights. COTT is the only CMO that has reciprocal agreements to represent foreign repertoire.
With respect to the three CMOs that represent musical works, the release said, event promoters should be aware that each CMO represents the works of different artistes and a licence must be obtained from each CMO representing the works of each artiste to be used at an event.
The Intellectual Property Office in the ministry is advising all Carnival promoters they must engage the relevant CMOs regarding the local repertoire intended to be used at their event. Promoters are responsible for determining which CMO represents the copyrighted musical works and sound recordings to be used.
Meanwhile, COTT told Newsday it was not in the habit of responding to paid advertisements, in reply to an ad placed in this newspaper earlier this week by Awesome Copyright. The ad accused COTT of giving false information about Awesome Copyright. COTT, however, said it was happy to provide accurate information about itself, noting it was a non-government organisation and never claimed to be otherwise. It has been in operation for 34 years and is accountable to its 3,500 local members through annual general meetings and audited financial statements.