Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Media Release – Use of Copyrighted Music at Carnival Events

Media Release – Use of Copyrighted Music at Carnival Events

The Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs wishes to remind all event promoters that permission must be obtained to use copyrighted musical works and sound recordings at Carnival and other events. Such permission must be obtained from the respective Collective Management Organisation(s) that are appointed by the owners of these works to administer the licensing of content, collection of royalties and reinforcement of rights on their behalf.

There are four (4) Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), registered and operational in Trinidad and Tobago that administer intellectual property rights on behalf of content creators. There are three (3) CMOs with respect to musical works: Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT), Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO) and Awesome Copyright. There is one (1) CMO for reprographic rights, Trinidad and Tobago Reprographic Rights Organisation (TTRRO). Currently, only COTT has reciprocal agreements to represent foreign repertoire. While COTT, TTCO and Awesome Copyright also represent local repertoire based on their respective membership.

Event promoters should be aware that each CMO represents the works of different artistes. As such, a licence must be obtained from each CMO representing each artiste’s work to be used at an event.

The Intellectual Property Office wishes to advise all carnival promoters that they must engage the relevant CMO(s) regarding the local repertoire intended to be used at their event.

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