IP and Carnival

Jan 13, 2015

Use of Copyrighted Music at Carnival Events



The Ministry of Legal Affairs, through its Intellectual Property Office, reminds all event promoters that permission must be obtained to use copyrighted musical works at Carnival and other events.

Such permission must be obtained from the respective Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) that are appointed by the owners of these works to administer the licensing of rights, collection of royalties and reinforcement of rights on their behalf. Event promoters should be aware that each CMO represents the works of different artistes. As such, a licence must be obtained from each CMO representing each artiste’s works to be used at an event.

Event promoters bear the responsibility to determine which CMO represents the musical works to be used. It should also be borne in mind that situations will exist where a licence may be required to cover traditional author/composer rights and another licence required for the rights of performers and the producers of sound recordings (under neighbouring rights). A promoter may have to make adjustments to ensure that multiple CMOs are paid. This situation is not unique to Trinidad and Tobago as many other countries have multiple CMOs for musical works.

Event promoters are reminded that unauthorised use of copyrighted works is considered a copyright infringement under the Copyright Act of Trinidad and Tobago. For further information on copyright issues and other intellectual property matters, please contact us.

Please ensure to check out this report on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights.