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ECCO introduces licencing rates in SKN with government support; a move to support content creators/owners

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by Kevin Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) has reached an amicable agreement with the Government, music creators and music users of St Kitts and Nevis concerning licensing and compliance with music rights.

In a recent consultation with stakeholders across all sectors, ECCO introduced new introductory licensing rates, effective November 1, 2022, to music users of St. Kitts and Nevis to increase compliance and the licensing revenue in the territory.

The introductory rates will run for a period of 1-year. See the full list of introductory rates here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/100Kd0HQwXBlG5mOKD6fL1N0Fi2W3hW5a/view?usp=sharing

The objectives of the consultations were to:

  • Educate music creators and music users on the importance of music rights.

  • Licence all music users (broadcasters, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, bars, shops, stores, banks, offices, event promoters, etc.), thus increasing ECCO’s licensing revenue.

  • And foster a partnership with the Government, IP Registrar’s Office and other creatives in St. Kitts and Nevis.

ECCO plans to licence all music users in St. Kitts and Nevis and will contact all business owners, broadcasters and event promoters for a licence.

The licencing will cover public performances, mechanical licence, synchronisation license and reproduction fees.

All public performances in spaces where people gather (other than a small circle of a family or its social acquaintances) or are transmitted to the public by radio or television broadcasts, music-on-hold, cable television, and by the internet must have a public performance licence. The public performance licence grants permission to play the song in public, online, or on the radio.

A mechanical licence grants permission to release the song in an audio-only format (interactive audio streams, digital downloads, CDs, vinyl).

A synchronisation license grants permission to release the song in a video format (YouTube, DVDs, Blu-ray discs).

A reproduction fee is a cost associated with copying the content from one medium to another, making it available to the public.

Tariffs on copyrighted content use already exist. The tariffs will affect broadcasters, Concerts and Events, carnival street parades, restaurants, bars and cafes, karaoke, banks, offices and industrial premises, shops and stores and online music use with fees associated with the use of copyrighted content in these institutions and situations.

For Broadcasters, ECCO’s tariffs are calculated as a percentage of the Gross Advertising Revenue and the reproduction fee.

Annually, Cable would pay 1.625% of the Gross Advertising Revenue, and the reproduction fee is $10,000.

Radio would pay 2.5% of Gross Advertising Revenue and a $3,000 reproduction fee.

Television would pay 1.625% and a $6,000 reproduction fee.

ECCO will introduce a 50% reduction in the reproduction fee to ease the Federation into this era of copyright compliance.

How will ECCO regulate the use of copyrighted content?

Broadcasters have the option of submitting monthly logs to ECCO in excel format, or have ECCO digitally monitor their frequency through Barcelona Music and Audio Technologies (BMAT), Music Innovators, for an annual fee of EC$1,000.

The implementation of the licencing fees and the backing of the Government now gives ECCO the authority to affect how media houses, events and businesses consume copyrighted content.

In ECCO’s current Concerts and Events Tariff, royalties are 5% of Gross Gate Receipts.

There is a minimum royalty based on the human capacity of a space per event. The minimum is only applied where the calculation of 5% of gross gate receipts falls below the minimum royalties per event for the corresponding capacity.

  • 500 persons and less – $400.00

  • 501 to 1,000 – $815.00

  • 1,001 to 5,000 – $1,630.00

  • 5,001 and over – $3,000.00

When the admission fee includes drinks, the royalty payable is reduced by 30%, subject to minimum rates.

When the admission fee includes food and drinks, the royalty payable is reduced by 50%, subject to minimum fees.

The annual licence fee for Restaurants, Bars and Cafes is solely based on the seating capacity of the venue.

ECCO will introduce a 4% rate of the gross receipts to event promoters. For free events, it will offer a 10% discount on the rate as per the capacity. The discount is not applicable to the minimum daily rates of background music, $150 and specially featured/live Music, $400.

The annual licence fee for Karaoke is EC$450.00.

Restaurant, Bars and Cafe owners request a copyright music licence incorporating Karaoke or Specially Featured Music. The Restaurants, Bars and Cafes, Karaoke or Specially Featured Music tariff, is applicable in such cases.

The following introductory rates were proposed:

Restaurants, Bars & Cafes:

  • For the first 15 seats – 300

  • Each additional ten seats (or part thereof) – 70

Karaoke:

  • Annually – 400

  • Daily – 125

Specially Featured Music – Royalties payable as a percentage of Expenditure of Entertainment – 4%

A 3-month payment plan will be applied to the annual licence fee.

Using ECCO’s current Restaurants, Bars and Cafes, Karaoke and Specially Featured Music tariff, the licence fees would be as follows: Vybes Bar & Grill -15 seats (background music only) – $376; the licence fees would be reduced to $300.

The licencing fee for Small Rum Shops not exceeding 300 square feet is $200.

Similar fees are applicable in other stores, businesses and situations where copyrighted content is consumed.

As stated, the licencing and fees came into effect on November 1, 2022.

ECCO is responsible for licensing all public use of music in the Eastern Caribbean irrespective of which country the songwriter is from; Affiliated Societies (COSCAP, Barbados; JACAP, Jamaica; COTT, Trinidad and Tobago; ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, USA; SOCAN, Canada etc.) within the OECS

 

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