Being the only high profile OECS entity representing musicians, there is often confusion over the role of ECCO and who ECCO actually represents. Often, terms such as; Artists, performers, song writers, musicians, singers, musicians etc. are banded together and the perception is these players, who are all critical to the creation of music, are represented by ECCO. Well, this is incorrect as ECCO has a limited mandate and this week we clear up some of the misunderstandings about who ECCO represents.
ECCO does not work in the interest of artists. ECCO’s sole purpose is to license music users and pass on royalties to songwriter and publisher members based on the license fees ECCO collects and how often the music is used. Artists, have rights too, however, and whilst they are rightfully compensated for their talent through live performance fees and sale of their recordings, they currently miss out on royalties for the public performance of their recordings. Though ECCO has no relationships with artists, ECCO advocates that artists need a body similar to ECCO to administer rights existing in their recordings. The body created would work on a similar basis as ECCO and tasked with issuing licenses to users for public use of recorded music on behalf of artists & record labels.
Performers’ Recording rights are currently administered in the region through JAMMS in Jamaica and COSCAP in Barbados. Further afield, PPL performs this function in the UK and SPEDIDAM in France, as well as over a hundred such entities around the world.
So as not to confuse this matter, remember, ECCO is an organization of songwriters and music publishers. The copyright act gives protection to all creators of intellectual property; therefore, owners of intellectual property can enforce their rights individually or collectively by creating an entity such as ECCO to manage their rights. ECCO pledges support to performers and producers of recorded music wishing to organize themselves for the purpose of creating a collective Management Organisation to administer these rights.