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Jamaican Media Houses Face the Music for Copyright Infringement

JACAP Sues Local Media Houses for Copyright Infringement

The Jamaica Association of Authors and Composers (JACAP) has announced that it has sued five (5) media houses for breaches of copyright law and has sent “cease and desist” letters to an additional seven (7) radio stations. In a landscape booming with radio stations, and an international one in which music sales continue to trend downwards, this is a bold move by the copyright agency.

In a release, JACAP indicates that it has brought lawsuits against Grove Broadcasting Ltd (Irie and ZIP 103 FM), Nationwide News, Newstalk 93 FM, KLAS Sports Radio, Island Broadcasting Services and CVM television. JACAP states that it has sent “Cease and Desist” letters Love FM, Sun City Radio, Mello FM, TBC Radio, Bess FM, KC Gospel, and Mega JAMZ FM.

According to the release, JACAP’s actions comes at the behest of its membership and their frustrations with these entities, and comes at the end of years of attempts at negotiations and continued non-compliance, or at the least a minimal payment. 

“The creators of music are unhappy with the illegal use of their works and have mandated JACAP to take violators to Court for infringement of their copyright,” Lydia Rose, General Manager of JACAP is cited as saying. 

The association has also indicated that it will not stop with the current batch of lawsuits but intends to move against cable and venue operators, promoters and hotels within the coming months.

The revised Copyright Act (1993) mandates that a license is required for public use of music under copyright. This means that all radio and television stations as well as cable operators, hotels, businesses, and public events among others require the JACAP license.