By John Francis
The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc. on Thursday 12th August 2010, distributed royalties to its members and affiliates around the world for performances of their music in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
This is the first payout from the organization (formerly HMS) from funds raised under ECCO and relate to royalties collected from music users in 2009 Financial year.
Members and affiliates benefited from a total payout of approximately EC$200,000 with $45,300 being paid directly to ECCO members in the form of Allocations, and the balance being paid on performance details provided by radio stations and major live events such as St. Lucia jazz.
As ECCO expands its operations throughout the OECS it is expected that royalties received and paid out to members and sister societies around the world will increase.
ECCO is an association of composers and publishers of musical works which administers on behalf of its members the performing right within the musical works which are assigned to it.
By virtue of a network of reciprocal agreements with affiliated societies all over the world, ECCO’s repertoire comprises not only the works of its own members but virtually all copyright musical works existing today.
ECCO issues annually renewable licenses to broadcasters, cable operators and premises which play copyright music to the public, from concert venues and discotheques, to hotels, bars, banks, cinemas, shops and offices. In return for a modest royalty payment, licensees are entitled to unlimited access to virtually the entire copyright music repertoire in the world today and saved from the impossible task of contacting and negotiating with individual composers, authors and publishers throughout the world.
ECCO has the mandate to administer the performing right in its repertoire in the OECS, which include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands.
ECCO was officially launched in St Lucia in January last year. It is governed by a board of directors comprising persons from the OECS with agents in each territory.