Valuing your Musical Creativity

Music Creators

JACAP Membership has increased from 44 in 1999 to 3,152 members as at April 2013. Find out more about how you can become a JACAP member.

Read more about JACAP membership

Membership FAQ

What service does JACAP provide for members?

IMG 7991It would be impossible for the individual composer, lyricist, songwriter or publisher to monitor the public performances and broadcasts by thousands of users of their music across Jamaica and the rest of the world, to issue licenses and collect royalties due.

Similarly if the music of a composer, lyricist, songwriter or publisher is being recorded by another person it would be difficult for the copyright owner to keep track of such recordings. JACAP monitors the use of music, issues licenses, collects license fees and distributes such fees to its members and reciprocal affiliated societies as royalties.

Is membership permanent?

Yes, unless you notify us in writing that you wish to terminate your JACAP membership.

How much does it cost to become a member of JACAP?

There is a one-time membership fee of J$1,500.00 for writers and J$7,500 for publishers.

Can I become a writer member of JACAP if I am already affiliated with another society as a writer?

You will need to contact your current society to terminate that membership in order to join JACAP.

I am a member of a band/group. Can my group join JACAP?

Each member of the group must complete a separate writer application and each member of the group must meet the eligibility criteria.

How long does it take to approve my membership at JACAP?

It takes no less than 3 months to complete the approval process.

Do I need to join overseas societies?

No. We have reciprocal agreements with other societies throughout the world which collect, distribute and account to us for broadcasts, performances and mechanical usage of our members’ repertoire in their territory. You are therefore effectively already covered by your membership for the world.

What does a music publisher do?

A good music publisher has the knowledge and contacts to promote a composition. Typically a publisher enters into a songwriter/publisher agreement with the songwriter, whereby the songwriter assigns ownership and control of the copyright-protected musical works to the publisher in exchange for a percentage of the income derived from the exploitation of the musical works.

How do I change my personal details?

You can update your personal details by completing the relevant form online, sending an email with the new information or calling us directly.

What if I’m a member but my co-writer is not?

You can register the song, indicating the division of ownership shares and all relevant information for the co-writers.

Who can claim royalties?

A song is traditionally a combination of music and lyrics - people who create these lyrics and/or music are often called ‘composer’, ‘writer’, or ‘author’. The creators of the lyrics and/ or music can claim royalties. If you are someone who takes pieces of other tracks/CDs/peoples music and combines them into something new then you're not a composer, writer, author and you can't claim any royalties.

Does registering my works with JACAP mean my copyright is protected?

Currently, no official form of copyright registration is available. In the Jamaica, all original music is protected by copyright from the time it is recorded/written down in some format. Registering your works with JACAP enables you to be correctly paid for the broadcast or performance of your songs.

A relative who is a JACAP member has died, what do I do?

When a JACAP member dies, his spouse, child, relative, next of kin or beneficiary under a will can apply for Membership.  This person (known as a successor member) can collect the decease member’s royalties.

Distribution FAQ

What do I do if my song is being played on radio, TV or Internet?

You need to ensure your work is registered. Early registration of works will help prevent lost royalties. JACAP's ability to license and monitor the performances of a composition is dependent upon the accuracy and timeliness of this reported information.

What is the difference between performing rights royalties, mechanical royalties and sync royalties?

Performing right royalties are earned when a musical work is performed publicly. Public performance occurs when a song is used as a public performance. JACAP grants licenses to perform, use or broadcast music from its extensive repertoire to hundreds of thousands of users of music in public places, such as radio and TV stations, hotels, clubs, restaurants, stores, and more.

The "mechanical" right is the right to reproduce a piece of music onto CDs, DVDs, records, tapes or downloads via the internet Non-mechanical reproduction includes such things as making sheet music.

When reproduction of music is made onto a soundtrack of a film or TV show, the reproduction is called "synchronization," and the license that the TV or film producer needs to obtain is called a synchronization, or "sync," license.

Should I keep track of the performances of my music?

While JACAP works on your behalf to acquire all the necessary data to make royalty payments for performances of your music, we don't always receive complete information. You can assist us by notifying JACAP of international performance of your music.

Should I give my producer songwriter credits?

Music copyright belongs to the creator of the song. Typically, the producer is paid for his/her work and does not share royalties which accrue as a result of exploitation of the song.

How often are royalty payments made?

JACAP will pay out royalty of $500.00 or more to its members twice per year. For members that earn less than $500 per distribution, that amount will be held until the earnings reach the distributable amount. Members have the option of receiving their earnings by cheque or direct deposit.
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