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Thursday 21 November 2019
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COTT signs international agreement

THE Copyright Organisation (COTT) has signed an agreement with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which protects two rights to every song.

One is copyright, that is, the right of authors, composers and publishers and the other is neighbouring rights, which are the rights of performers, producers and other owners of recordings. The signing ceremony took place at Government Plaza Auditorium in Port of Spain yesterday.

Javier Asensio, regional director of the IFPI, Latin America and the Caribbean, said his mission in the Caribbean is to do two main things, protect the intellectual property of all members and promote an environment whereby members can develop their activities in a better way. He then spoke of four ways to do so.

The first is to promote the value of COTT/IFPI activity and try to get the best legislation which can assist in achieving their goals. The second is to fight against piracy in markets all around the world, third to promote the performance rights market and four, to provide information about what is going on in the music market.

“This business of licensing of performance rights has a value in the world of $2 billion for performers and producers. And not only are we trying to get this thing working as soon as possible and bring all the different producers and performers on board, but we are also here to assist to bring the digital market to TT,” he said. Collections for neighbouring rights begin July 1, with registration now open.

COTT chief executive officer Ayanna Belgrave-Lewis, said: “Today’s signing is yet another significant milestone for COTT. As a collective management organisation, we are moving closer to the full implementation of music rights administration in Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to collecting for composers, authors and publishers based on Copyright, with this signing, COTT is now moving towards adding performers and producers to our membership to collecting for the music right know as Neighbouring Rights or Related Rights.”

With a membership of 3,800 local music creators, Belgrave-Lewis said COTT is also part of a wider Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies including COSCAP in Barbados; JACAP in Jamaica and ECCO which covers the nine Eastern Caribbean countries.

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