Foodland Supermarkets have now earned the right to play “protected music” without having to face legal battles.
The two supermarkets that are a division of George F. Huggins and Company (Grenada) Limited were presented with the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation (ECCO) Music Rights License at ceremony held last week Friday at the company’s Kirani James Boulevard outlet. The signing was done by ECCO’s Licensing Agent, Linda Straker and Divisional Manager of Foodland Supermarket, Marc Chow Chung.
Straker who was presented with a play list agreement and a cheque covering March 2013 to March 2014 by Chow Chung, said the negotiations held with the parent company, George F. Huggins was not long and drawn out as what happened with other companies.
She stated that Huggins will now have to provide ECCO with a play list of the music that will be played at their two locations, Kirani James Boulevard and Market Square, St. George’s.
The play list will be submitted to ECCO’s head office in St. Lucia and the money collected on behalf of the artistes will then be passed on to them.
The local Licensing Agent spoke of the economic benefit that can now be provided to the artistes.
She said the money collected on their behalf can assists in improving the lives of the artistes.
According to her, almost half of the money collected goes to the USA, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
Straker made a special appeal to local artistes who have not yet signed on to ECCO to become members.
“What can be better is for our local artistes here to produce the quality of music the supermarkets want to play and bring it to them, and once it is played then more of the money will stay in our region,” she said.
Huggins Director and Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, Anya Chow Chung who addressed the ceremony said the company had no difficulty in associating itself with ECCO.
Chow Chung said having worked along with a wide range of local artistes Huggins understands the extensive efforts and capital investments involved in bringing a creative work to fruition.
“We have all heard the plight of our talented men and women in the past where there has been little or no return for their production investment,” remarked Chow Chung who is an attorney-at-law by profession.
She threw out a challenge to all companies to give support to ECCO’s effort and apply for the requisite license to use the music.
The Huggins Director also challenged the local artistes to strive for excellence.
She said they are mandated to produce creative work of which Grenada can be proud, and not those that have to be censored or which would lend credence to the immoral loose sub-culture which seems to be the trend.
“Grenada’s creative portfolio should be the very essence of true talent and strong moral,” she added.
A debate is currently taking place about a calypso that was recently released by the Antiguan Band, “Burning Flames” “Kick in the Back Door.”
Chow Chung indicated that at Foodland all things local are supported and this can be seen from the products sold at their supermarkets.
A certificate indicating Foodland’s compliance with the ECCO regulation will now be placed in a strategic place for all concerned to take note.
The Copyright Legislation came into effect on April 26, 2012.