Barbados on US watch list

Barbados is on a United States watch list for not paying copyright fees for cable programmes and public performances of music.

A recent report again cited Barbados for the retransmission of US broadcasts and cable programming by local cable operators without permission.

“In the realm of copyright and related rights, the United States continues to have concerns about the unauthorised retransmission of US broadcasts and cable programming by local cable operators in Barbados, particularly stateowned broadcasters, without adequate compensation to US rights holders. Several outstanding copyright infringement cases filed by stakeholders against local cable operators and one local radio station remained at a virtual standstill in 2022.

The United States also has continuing concerns about the refusal of Barbadian TV and radio broadcasters, and cable and satellite operators, to pay for public performances of music,” the report said.

Anthony Green, Station Manager of Starcom Network, distanced the company from the report, stating that it had paid and met its requirement in relation to copyright issues.

“ Starcom Network enjoys a good relationship with Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (COSCAP). Our payments are up to date and we have a process in place to make sure that we meet the requirements that COSCAP has in place,” he said.

Calls to Sanka Price, chief executive officer of the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, were not returned up to press time.

The report stated that the US “also has continuing concerns about the refusal of Barbadian TV and radio broadcasters, and cable and satellite operators, to pay for public performances of music. The United States urges Barbados to take all actions necessary to address such cases to ensure that all composers and songwriters receive the royalties they are owed for the public performance of their musical works. The United States looks forward to working with Barbados to resolve these and other important issues”.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of COSCAP, Dr Erica Smith, said cable operators in Barbados are not licensed by her organisation. (AC)