Music licensing company PPL has become the first collective management organisation to sign an international performer agreement with the Jamaican CMO, Jamaican Music Society (JAMMS).
The signing with JAMMS, which follows PPL’s latest agreement with the Romanian performers’ rights organisation CREDIDAM, marks a significant leap forward for the Jamaican music industry, addressing a longstanding gap that has seen performers miss out on revenue where their music is used overseas.
Under Jamaican law, performers do not have a right to equitable remuneration for the broadcast and public performance of recordings of their performances. Via PPL, Jamaican performers will now financially benefit from such use of their music recordings in the UK.
“Any lover of popular music knows that the world owes a debt of gratitude to the musical talent and creativity of Jamaican performers," said PPL’s director of international, Laurence Oxenbury. "Having a local Jamaican organisation appointed by performers to manage their repertoire, collect revenue from the UK on their behalf and collectively represent their rights can only be a catalyst for the more effective flow of revenue back to Jamaica from the UK and hopefully other countries in the future.
“Revenue is currently being collected around the world on behalf of Jamaican performers but only a small proportion is making its way back to Jamaican performers who performed on the recordings. We, at PPL, have embarked on this agreement with JAMMS to enable more Jamaican artists and musicians to earn from recordings on which they have performed, when such works are played in our territory.'
PPL and JAMMS have worked together for a number of years under a reciprocal agreement relating to the rights of independent record companies represented by both organisations.
JAMMS general manager Evon Mullings said: “We both examined the dynamics and applicable legal framework within Jamaica and eventually agreed, courtesy of the PPL Performer Board, to proceed with a unilateral agreement in favour of royalty flows to Jamaica.
“The one-way flow of royalties will last until Jamaica’s Copyright Act is fully updated to allow JAMMS to operationalise copyright licensing on behalf of performers in Jamaica. When that change takes effect it will enable JAMMS to license and collect royalties in Jamaica in relation to performers and therefore be able to reciprocate in sending royalties to the UK for repertoire of UK artists and musicians that are played in the Jamaica market.
“This was an unprecedented move for PPL to engage in a one way flow of royalties but they respect the work of JAMMS and respect the impact that Jamaica’s music has had internationally, especially in the UK. We salute our partners at PPL for their enlightenment and willingness to share in solutions that are of importance to music practitioners, beyond UK borders.”
The announcement coincides with Reggae Month in February in Jamaica as well as the visit of PPL’s performer board member, David Stopps, to Kingston, to meet with the Jamaican Intellectual Property Office and government officials.