Online virtual parties have been a big hit since the coronavirus was first detected in Jamaica and might be doing a well needed public service to medicate the need to be social. But those keeping the parties are told they still have to pay up!
The Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP) is warning that online parties and events are still required to pay over royalty fees, as they are still utilising the work of others.
Lydia Rose, general manager of JACAP, says in spite of the different platform, “the laws have not changed, and all users of music are obligated to act legally when using the creator’s property, even online. As such they should apply for the appropriate licence. Especially in these difficult times, the creators need music users to act most responsibly.”
Rose says JACAP is appealing and hoping that sponsors of the online parties will only associate their brands with events that are using music legally.
Over the last three weeks, thousands of Jamaicans have joined virtual parties held almost every night by their favourite DJs and Sound Systems. These nightly parties attract people seeking to keep themselves entertained because of the mandatory curfews and order that all bars be closed due to the need for social distancing to #flattenthecurve of the coronavirus on the island.
But JACAP says with the cancellation of parties and entertainment events which generates royalties, there’s been a 50% decline in collection and this may continue to fall if the current restrictions remain in place.
In addition, there has been “very minimal collection” from the virtual parties, as the collection rate is only five per cent, Rose told the Star newspaper.
However, one selector who spoke off the record noted that JACAP’s authority is questionable as it does not extend to streaming rights, which is actually more the territory of Jamaica Music Society, JAMMS. He added also, that the contract by JACAP is based off of how many people are at the party which is conceptualized around a physical venue rather than what songs are played.
We’ll wait to see how this one plays out as Jamaicans take to the internet to cope with Covid-19 restrictions by the government.
In the meantime, here’s a list of live parties happening this week!
@tonymatterhorn4 who has two parties – Tissue Tuesdays at 9PM and Quarantine Fridays at PM with a variety of genres including dancehall bashment, Hip Hop, R&B and Soul music.
@areacode_876 New Tune Tuesdays at 5-8PM
Jamaica Tourist Board’s Live session on Saturdays at 6pm ET, that’s streamed live via the agency’s Instagram handle.
@FAME95fm Retro Wednesday Party
@Jrchromatic Smooth Groove Sundays at 11 am