More local play, more local payout
Director and head of the Membership Committee at the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP), Gussie Clarke, is encouraging local radio stations and cable companies to play more Jamaican content.
At a seminar held by the organisation late last year, general manager Lydia Rose said JACAP collected $94.6 million in royalties in 2015. After deductions for administrative and other costs, $39 million remained for distribution among rights holders, of which $7 million was paid to JACAP members and $32 million to overseas societies.
"The fact is that Jamaica plays 75 per cent of foreign tunes. We will always be paying out more to overseas entities if more foreign tune a play," Clarke said.
Illegal music use is another reason why more money is not being paid out to local artistes. "It is a fact that those who are playing more local content are not as compliant as they should be and so nothing is being earned from those entities, even though the music is being played," Clarke said. "We have to treat all membership equally and so there's nothing we can do about it if those playing the music don't start the change."
JACAP wants to start a Lobby Committee to educate persons about playing more local content and complying with copyright laws. "I am personally going to embark on a mission to highlight exactly what local radio stations are playing. Can you imagine how much more the music could contribute if more of the revenues being earned from music was actually staying in the country?" he demanded. "I'm encouraging people who love the music to do the right thing. All it takes is a little support and some honesty to get things to the place where they need to be."
Clarke encouraged the creation of music with substance. "We need to maximise on possible earnings in the international market and that will only happen if the music is being played over there. What they are sending us from what they collect is just a drop in the bucket. All members of these entities that collect royalties, whether locally or internationally get the same rights and so I encourage artistes to make music that will cross over," Clarke said.