December 19, 2013

Copyright Music Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) Hosted International Copyright Delegation

“Fair Value for Music Within the Caribbean” conference was held November 5 – 7, bringing key stakeholders together in joint advocacy and educational efforts

Press Release

NEW YORK, December 18, 2013 – Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®), a global leader in music rights management, took part in an International Music Copyright Delegation in Trinidad and Tobago on November 5 - 7, 2013, to discuss “Fair Value for Music Within the Caribbean.” The two-day conference, hosted by the Copyright Music Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT), brought together several other societies, including ASCAP, SESAC, PRS, COSCAP, JACAP and ECCO, along with government officials, cable operators, broadcasters, media and music creators with the same objectives: to advocate for intellectual property rights and the fair value of music and to encourage collaboration and compliance to positively impact international trade relations.

Also attending the conference was CISAC, the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies, which brings together 227 authors’ societies from 120 countries. Through its membership, CISAC represents a community of more than 3 million creators from all over the world and from all artistic fields, including music, film, visual arts, drama and literature.

Commenting on the Delegation, BMI’s Consuelo Sayago said, “In a country such as Trinidad and Tobago that is especially rich in culture, it is essential that music creators are confident that they are being fairly compensated for their songs. The events were well attended by key officials in T&T, as well as broadcasters and songwriters. Direct TV was a very active participant, and subsequent to the meetings paid royalties to COTT for the composers and authors of music. We congratulate COTT in bringing this Delegation together to bring awareness to the rights of authors, so that music in Trinidad and Tobago is held in the same regard as music in other parts of the world.”

Participants of the International Delegation included:

• Olivier Hinnewinkel, Director General, CISAC
• Santiago Schuster, Director, Latin American and the Caribbean, CISAC
• Angela Hunte, Songwriter
• Consuelo Sayago, Assistant Vice President, International (BMI)
• Elizabeth Rodda, Regional Relationship Manager (ASCAP)
• Wayne Bickerton, Chairman SESAC International (SESAC)
• Dewayne Ector, International Manager North America & The Caribbean (PRS)
• Stedson Wiltshire, Director (COSCAP)
• Lydia Rose, General Manager (JACAP)
• Steve Etienne, General Manager (ECCO)

The Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) is a non-profit organisation incorporated on July 10, 1984. COTT was the first national Collective Management Organisation (CMO) to be established in the Caribbean. Its main function is to manage and license collectively on behalf of music creators and their publishers as well as international affiliates, the performing and reproduction rights in their copyright music under the Copyright Act 1997 of Trinidad & Tobago. In this capacity, COTT collects fees from the users of copyright music and distributes the money as royalties to the writers and publishers who own the copyright.

The organisation is a strong advocate for the protection of musical works in Trinidad and Tobago and is the leading collecting society in the Caribbean region for distribution to its members and expertise.

COTT is the only society in Trinidad and Tobago representing rights of the international songwriter. BMI’s reciprocal agreement with COTT has been effective since 2003.

As a founding member of the ACCS (formerly known as CCL), the umbrella body for the collecting societies in the Caribbean, COTT strives to be a global player in the management of music rights and a catalyst for the most efficient and creative approaches to licensing music.

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, works towards increased recognition and protection of creators’ rights. CISAC wasfounded in 1926 and is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. Its headquarters are in Paris, with regional offices in Budapest, Santiago de Chile, Burkina Faso and Singapore (soon to be relocated to China). Many of CISAC’s main activities and member services aim to support societies’ strategic development in each region and tosecure a position for creators and their collective management organizations.


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