TTCO claims NCC owes it $1m

The T&T Copy­right Col­lec­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (TTCO) claims the Na­tion­al Car­ni­val Com­mis­sion (NCC) owes it close to $1 mil­lion in li­cense fees for works of mas un­der the Copy­right Act of T&T and wants the body to pay up.

The claim was made by TTCO CEO Nigel Tran­coso at a news con­fer­ence at the Cou­va-Point Lisas Cham­ber of Com­merce at Cam­den Road, Cou­va, yes­ter­day. Tran­coso, who joined the TTCO in Feb­ru­ary, said the NCC had not paid any li­cense fees to TTCO for 2018 and 2019. He said the TTCO col­lects roy­al­ties for works of mas for the mas bands and ther body al­so rep­re­sent­ed the T&T Car­ni­val Bands’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

Tran­coso said a per­cent­age of the roy­al­ties they col­lect are paid to the mas bands, not­ing the debt can­not be writ­ten off since the monies be­long to the right hold­ers.

“What we in­tend to do is to try the most diplo­mat­ic means with the NCC and with who­ev­er maybe at the helm, to find out why first­ly this mon­ey has not been paid and how long it will take for them to pay it. We have a date set that will be a cut off date and then we may take some oth­er dras­tic means,” Tran­coso said.

“We have al­ready spo­ken with some of our at­tor­neys but we do not wish to go that way to be quite frankly. I think this mat­ter could be set­tled am­i­ca­bly be­cause it is clear you have used the rights of our mem­bers, it must be paid for.”

Tran­coso said his next step is to con­tact the rel­e­vant Gov­ern­ment min­is­ter.

Re­gard­ing the is­sue of neigh­bour­ing rights, he said TTCO has rep­re­sent­ed the neigh­bour­ing rights of per­form­ers and pro­duc­ers since 2002. He said the body is the on­ly copy­right man­age­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion that has col­lect­ed and paid neigh­bour­ing rights since 2002.

He said oth­er copy­right bod­ies rep­re­sent the au­thor-com­pos­er and the pub­lish­er, adding a re­cent ar­ti­cle pub­lished in the dai­ly news­pa­pers er­ro­neous­ly claimed that the Copy­right Col­lec­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion of T&T was the on­ly body col­lect­ing neigh­bour­ing rights.

Con­tact­ed the is­sue yes­ter­day, how­ev­er, NCC chair­man Win­ston “Gyp­sy” Pe­ter said he did not know about any pay­ments owed to the TTCO.

Reporter: Shastri Boodan

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