Who needs a JACAP licence?
JACAP Public Performance licences are required by premises which use music. These range from concert halls and dance halls through public houses, hotels and restaurants to ships, aircraft, hairdressers, doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms and even telephone ‘holding’ systems.
A JACAP licence is usually reassessed annually. A JACAP licence is also required by every radio and television service and almost every satellite service based in Jamaica as well as by cable operators for certain of their services. But these licences only cover the original transmission into private homes not to public places that use radio and/or television to provide entertainment or atmosphere for patrons, the general public or staff. The operators of these premises require a separate licence.
The owner or manager of the premises or the promoter of the event, i.e. the person who normally facilitates the music performances to take place - musicians and performers do not have to hold a JACAP licence (unless they are working in one of the aforementioned capacities). By the way, a JACAP licence is needed EVEN IF the owner or manager has any of the following:
- TV, radio or cable licence (issued by the Broadcasting Commission)
- Local authority entertainment licence or permission (e.g. cinemas, stage shows etc.)
- Phonographic performance licences.
How much will it cost?
Different licence fees are calculated for different uses. A complete tariff structure can be had from the JACAP office. The music user should be aware however that contacting JACAP sooner rather than later could result in charges being reduced for making arrangements for early compliance.
Where does the money go?
It goes to the people who create the music and lyrics, and to their publishers. JACAP makes no profit for itself.
Is a JACAP licence required by law?
The law states that if you wish to use copyright music in public, you must first get permission from every single writer or composer whose music you intend to use. And “in public” means broadly anywhere outside your domestic circle. However, it is obvious both to those who write music and those who want to use it in their businesses that making such individual arrangements for licences would be virtually impossible - just think of the number of different songs played on the radio, for example! To facilitate the above music writers and their representatives (publishers) formed societies like JACAP to do collectively what was almost impossible to do individually. [Hence the term “collective management” society is also used to describe societies like JACAP].