CASTRIES, St Lucia – A delegation from the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Musical Rights (ECCO Inc.,) comprising the newly appointed chairman, David Jordan and the current Officer in Charge/Membership Officer, Keen Cotter, met with Saint Lucia’s minister for tourism, investment, creative industries and Broadcasting, Dr Ernest Hilaire, April 7, 2022.
The ECCO Inc., delegation took the opportunity to outline the work of the organization its current challenges and future opportunities. The need for greater collaboration with government institutions in the furtherance of its work was explored. The minister was informed of the operations, the technology that is utilized for airplay tracking and the future plans of ECCO Inc.
Dr Hilaire also shared the vision of the ministry under the new dispensation under his tenure and expressed openness towards the work of ECCO Inc.
There was a six-point agenda of which several outcomes among which were agreed to:
- The minister expressed his support for the planned observance of World Intellectual Property Day, April 26, 2022.
- An exploration of training grants in areas of business literacy, that will continuously sensitize music creators and users to the importance of copyright and intellectual property rights. The parties mutually agreed that the collaboration would greatly assist in advancing the work of ECCO Inc., while promoting the music industry in the Eastern Caribbean.
- That an ECCO Inc., license should be recognized as part of the body of the pre-requisite arrangements for broadcasters when obtaining new licenses and or renewing a broadcasting license.
- The minister advised that a proposed new Broadcast Bill in Saint Lucia is being drafted. It is expected that with this development, ECCO Inc., should be equipped with the appropriate legislative support together with the upgrade of the Copyright legislation to improve the governance and regulation of the sector. The minister highlighted how there will be scope for consultations and the input by ECCO Inc., its members, and music creators and users alike.
- The meeting discussed the quota of local content which could be implemented and applied seasonally in the interest of music creators and users through legislation, policy and more assertive advocacy by music creators and users in the region.
- The meeting discussed the emergence of changes in the broadcasting sector since the emergence of internet radio stations. The narrative shared expressed was such that these new developments ought to be regulated. It was noted that since the current legislation and regulations do not cater for those recent developments in the industry – there is clear understanding that there is the need for updated legislation with greater enforcement measures coupled with upgrades in order to address the modern current trends in the industry.
- The meeting looked forward to collaboration in the governance of the licensing of public and private events and to improving the social infrastructure in the enforcement of licensing arrangements for events by users of music (especially inclusive of the upcoming celebratory Carnival events and other events in the region).