The Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS) held its 12th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 24th August, 2016 at the Bay Gardens Resort in Rodney Bay Saint Lucia. The meeting which was attended by representatives from the ACCS’ founding collective management organizations as well as a representative from the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) and stakeholders from within Saint Lucia highlighted the achievements of the ACCS over the past year. This included growth in licenses and royalty distributions for all, including, COSCAP from Barbados, ECCO from the OECS sub-region and JACAP from Jamaica; while the ACCS itself reported that it had strengthened its relations with key regional and international development partners; secured much needed project funding for a number of key training and developmental initiatives under its work program, and adopted a sustainability plan among other achievements.
Outgoing President Mr McCarthy Marie, President of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO) in his remarks noted that the “…work over the past year was undertaken within the framework of our Work Program 2015-2016 and marked our [the ACCS’] commitment to ensuring that as collective management organizations we are prepared, individually and collectively, to respond to the challenges brought about by changes in technology and its impact on the management of copyright and related rights among other things; to support the development of the music sector and the wider creative industries to facilitate the fulfilment of its potential as a viable economic sector for our small developing economies; and to forge our position as a true regional entity within CARICOM and the wider Caribbean region.” The keynote address for the meeting was delivered by Ms Juliana Alfred, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Local Government, Culture and Creative Industries in Saint Lucia. PS Alfred noted that given the increasing importance of services to the small economies in the region, including the creative industries services sectors, that there was an important role for the collective management societies to play in ensuring a balanced environment for copyright and related rights.
Other meetings during the week included a management committee meeting and a strategic planning session on Monday the 22nd; a meeting of the ACCS Board of Directors on the Tuesday and a special symposium on Related Rights on the Thursday. This was timely as ECCO is set to expand its services to include coverage of Related Rights. Mr Juan Luis Maturet, Director of Legal and Business Affairs of IFPI gave a presentation on the agency’s services and mandate in this area and this was followed by a presentation by Mr Steve Etienne, General Manager of ECCO on its plan and road-map for handling related rights.
The incoming President of the ACCS Board of Directors is Mr Paul Barclay, Chairman of the Board of the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP), while Mr. Steve Etienne of ECCO, was appointed Chairman of the ACCS Management Committee.