A letter was sent yesterday to Island People Unlimited Functions from attorney Derriann Charles on behalf of COTT. It said the organisation had several discussions with persons representing Island People Unlimited Functions concerning paying of licence fees and to date the fees have not been paid.
COTT has indicated that artistes Machel Montano, Destra Garcia, Ian Alvarez (Bunji Garlin) and Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez and many more who are scheduled to perform at the event are all members of the organisations whose works have been registered with and vested in COTT.
“Our client has no choice but to take all necessary steps to protect and defend and enforce the rights of their members,” Martin said.
The letter quoted Section 34 (3) of the Copyright Act which states that, “where copyright in a work is infringed by a performance at a place of public entertainment, any person who gave permission for a place of public entertainment to be used for a performance is also liable for the infringement unless when he gave permission he believed on reasonable grounds that the performance would not infringe copyright.”
Martin said the letter would be forwarded to Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar who granted the promoters the licence for their event.
The attorney added that the promoters failure to pay COTT’s licensing fee also puts the owners of the O2 Park at risk of criminal liability and indicated that the letter will also be forwarded to them.
They also copied the letter to the Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams for his urgent attention and investigation so he and his officers can investigate and press criminal charges against any and all persons necessary.
The attorney warned if the matter was not resolved by 10am today, they have been instructed by COTT to immediately seek an injunction from the High Court to prevent the event from taking place in order to protect the interest of its members.
However, Colin Greaves, General Manager of Island People said the event was still on as planned.
“We have all the guidelines and regulations that we are supposed to follow when producing an event and we always try our best to stay within the frameworks outlined by the law,” he said. COTT unsuccessfully tried to stop Republic Bank’s fete on January 25, also claiming the promoters, Unlimited Events, had not paid the public performance fees.