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NCC boss denies collecting copyright fees

Monday, December 17, 2012

National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Allison Demas says the organisation has not been collecting copyright fees. Demas was responding to allegations by president of the T&T Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO) Dr Vijay Ramlal that NCC was collecting copyright fees for works of mas and not distributing them to bandleaders.


At a press conference on Wednesday, TTCO threatened the NCC with legal action if it did not respond within three days. In a telephone interview on Friday, Demas, a lawyer who previously headed the Copyright Organisation (COTT), cleared the air.


“For the period in question, from 2007 to 2012 the NCC has not been collecting any copyright fees. We collect fees for media accreditation, which is a legal and international practice. There is a distinction between media accreditation and copyright fees.” There is no system in place for collecting copyright fees for works of mas.


However, Demas said the NCC is meeting with the National Carnival Bands Association, the National Carnival Development Fund (NCDF) and the T&T Carnival Bands Association to design a system in time for Carnival 2013. She said TTCO did not represent NCDF and the NCC has no history of a relationship with the organisation.


COTT CEO Josh Rudder also distanced himself from the TTCO on Friday, saying COTT had no affiliation with it. Rudder also said it was not within COTT’s remit to collect copyright fees for works of mas because the organisation focused solely on music.