Caribbean companies facing lawsuits
CASTRIES, St Lucia, Wednesday April 27, 2011 – The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc has filed legal action against several major music users who failed to comply with its mandate as the Collective Management Organisation for the Eastern Caribbean.
ECCO is suing Kelcom International trading as Karib Cable, headquartered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and operating also in St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica’s cable company Marpin 2k4 Limited; and the cinema group, Caribbean Cinemas, operating in multiple Caribbean states, for the more than EC$1 million (US$370,370) in back royalties estimated owed to the organisation.
ECCO said it is currently pursuing action against a total of 32 entities across the Eastern Caribbean.
“ECCO is unable to achieve its business objective due to the non compliance by businesses whose use of music is central to their operation,” said General Manager Steve Etienne.
“By flagrantly breaking the law or attempting to circumvent their responsibilities as good corporate organizations they are prohibiting ECCO reaching its mandate and must either comply or stop using ECCO’s repertoire of musical works.”
The organisation said it is taking the accelerated action against abusers of the rights it administers in response to repeated requests from members and affiliate partners for tougher action.
It said that while many ECCO members live close to or below the poverty level and can barely make a living from music, companies like those being sued continue to grow their businesses from the music content provided by ECCO’s members and affiliates overseas.
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