JACAP puts on the pressure with lawsuits

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At least 22 companies have been sued by the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP) since the start of the year for copyright infringement, and after securing a recent win in its legal battle against Mars Cable Vision Limited, the association has sounded a warning that it will explore all options to protect its members.

JACAP general manager Lydia Rose made an appeal for more compliance with copyright laws during a press conference at the association's 21 Connolley Avenue head office in Kingston this week and noted that media houses and cable providers topped its list of infringers.

JACAP, by 28 agreements, is mandated to collect royalties from anybody who uses the creativity of individuals, authors, composers, and publishers. Based on this agreement, a claim was filed and served on Mars Cable Vision Limited in October 2016.

After a protracted legal battle, the Supreme Court, on November 28, 2018, entered judgement in default against Mars Cable Vision Limited in the matter. The court further ordered specific disclosure of the audited financials of Mars Cable Vision Limited and costs of the application for judgement to be awarded to JACAP to be taxed if not agreed.

JACAP's attorney, Christopher Henry, said that an assessment for damages would need to be done before they know the amount to be awarded.

"The cable companies, for far too long, have been non-compliant, and they are now realising that JACAP has the authority, and is willing to show this said authority, and is willing to go the entire mile to ensure that the rights of our composers, authors, and publishers are protected and they are rewarded for their hard work, their creative works," he said.