The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP), which collects royalties on behalf of songwriters, is in talks with a major publisher in order to start collecting from Youtube, MySpace and other popular Internet sites.

Collecting royalties from the internet is new for Jamaica and involves sale and reproduction rights collection. "It is a very grey area and anyone who says otherwise is misleading," JACAP chairman Steve Golding told the Observer in an interview. "Collection for Internet royalties for songwriters to date has been effected by the publisher companies. We are hoping to have someone from one of the big four publishers give us some guidance in that direction."

The big four are EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal. Golding added that there is nothing concrete: "It is an area that we don't know enough about so we are going to be guided."Online music sales is one of the few areas of growth in the ailing industry, and it has helped other international collection bodies to post higher royalty collections over last year. Ironically, JACAP saw its royalties collection down in 2008 over 2007.

Currently, JACAP collects performing royalties (which involves performances whether live or broadcast), but it intends to collect mechanical royalties (which involves sale and reproduction).
"We are speaking to RIAJAM and other parties regarding mechanical rights collection. We are in advice from a major international publisher as to how internet works and internet is a form of mechanical and performance," Golding added.

But JACAP could use the increased royalties as collections for 2008 were down over 2007. JACAP's decline comes in the wake of two of the three major royalty collection bodies posting higher collections: Harry Fox Agency, in the US collected US$307.1 million or 22 per cent less than in 2007; the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers had a record year collecting US$933 million; and PRS in England collected £600m in royalties an eight per cent rise over 2007.

Observer: Why were collections for 2008 down over 2007?
Steve Golding: "By observation over the last six years our collections have been trending up but as you can appreciate with what is happening with the economic climate now unfortunately 2008 over 2007 has trended down. Of the money we have collected we have identified at least 60 per cent of the rights holders worldwide and have paid out that money. The unpaid money must be dispersed to the societies to whom we have remitted the moneys."



Recommended Money Makers

  • Amazon Associates
  • Chitika
  • Masshost
  • Free Resource
  • 1 and 1
  • Adbrite