After an almost 2-year hiatus, ECCO Inc is set to resume its active collection of licences and permits on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers in Grenada. The position is now filled by Grenadian, Hervin Hood, a student of Music Business and (among other things) a Producer, Music Engineer and Consultant by trade.
Hood is taking up that challenge after past concerns surfaced about transparency, accountability, the method of approach taken in acquiring licences and even the legitimacy of ECCO Inc to request licence payments in Grenada. We would like to state emphatically that we appreciate — and take seriously — the concerns and queries of our music users and are committed to addressing them as we deliberately acquire more in-depth information into their past experiences with ECCO Inc.
In the interim, we would like to share the following with you:
Grenada’s Copyright Act No. 21 of 2011, allows for a licensing body to grant licences in respect to protected works, sound recordings or performances. The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation (ECCO), is a non-profit collective management organisation based in St Lucia; however, it is also duly registered as an external company with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) of Grenada to perform the work of that licenced body.
Before ECCO, there was PRS of the UK which operated in the region. In 2009, PRS effectively handed over the administration of rights related to its Eastern Caribbean’s repertoire to the Hewanorra Musical Society (HMS) which became ECCO Inc. This was as a result of an agreement between the 2 societies.
As with any other Eastern Caribbean organisations (ECTEL and the OECS, for example), there is strength in numbers and that includes the power the Eastern Caribbean islands have to share expenses and resources and negotiate with larger international organisations.
ECCO recognises that it has a lot more work to do with reference to public relations, educating its members, keeping its stakeholders informed and remaining an active part of the music industry. To begin addressing these shortcomings, ECCO’s CEO, Davis Joseph, and the Operations Manager, Vanesta Mortley, visited the spice island last week and had meetings with the Registrar of CAIPO, Annette Henry, and a representative of the Royal Grenada Police Force, the IP-savvy, Superintendent Esau Pierre. The purpose was to listen, learn and coordinate our efforts with those of our key stakeholders.
Accompanied and spearheaded by ECCO’s Grenadian Director, Wayne Green, we also met with a few of the membership and well-informed, music industry advocates. It was an opportunity for them to voice their concerns (during a meet & greet) and solicit their involvement in crafting a strategy to resume operations in Grenada with the confidence and trust of the general public, the active participation of the membership and the support of music users.
From all indications, the passion and support for what ECCO does exists at all levels. It is up to us (ECCO, stakeholders, members) to keep the momentum going and do our part in contributing to a vibrant music industry where songwriters, music composers and publishers can earn a living from their craft.
We, again, welcome Hervin Hood to the team and wish him the very best!!
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