Valuing your Musical Creativity

Music Licence

Whether your music is live, broadcast, transmitted or played via CD's or videos, your relevant JACAP license covers your usage.
Please download and complete the licence application form you require and submit to JACAP's office.


Licensing FAQ

Why should I pay for playing music in public?

THE COPYRIGHT ACT OF JAMAICA 1993/1999 assures authors and owners of original musical, dramatic or artistic works certain exclusive rights over the use of their works. These rights means that for any use of the work, permission or a ‘licence’ has to be sought from the copyright owner who is entitled to a royalty payment.

Who needs a JACAP Licence?

Anyone who copies, distributes, broadcasts or adapts musical works needs a licence. A licence is required for public performances such as concerts, and in public places where music is played such as restaurants, bars, hotels and business places. Radio and television stations, including satellite and cable operators, must be licensed to broadcast into private homes. Those that use these services to provide entertainment for patrons, the general public or staff must have a licence to do so.

What does the JACAP license do?

JACAP gives you a license to entertain your customers, guests and employees with the world's largest musical repertory. Whether your music is live, broadcast, transmitted or played via CD's or videos, your JACAP license covers your performances. And with one license fee, JACAP saves you the time, expense, and burden of contacting thousands of copyright owners.

How much will it cost to obtain a JACAP licence?

Different licence fees are calculated for different uses. Kindly refer to JACAP tariff structure included on this website.   The music user should be aware however that contacting JACAP sooner rather than later could result in charges being reduced for making arrangements for early compliance.

Where does the money go?

To our members both local and international. All the fees we collect are distributed as royalties, after deducting our operating expenses

What are the benefits JACAP offers to the user of music?

If every user of music had to negotiate a license with every copyright owner, it would be very costly and time consuming, if not impossible, task. JACAP exists to facilitate the legitimate use of music. JACAP issues licenses to the users of music which permits the immediate and legal use of any of the works within JACAP’s repertoire.

Is it illegal to copy and distribute music even if I am not doing it for money?

Yes; whether or not you are making money from your activity will only have an impact on the level of penalties applied by the courts.

Does it matter how music is performed?

It is of no consequence whether the public performance is given live or by means of a radio, television, any electro-mechanical or digital device, video or karaoke. Neither does it matter if no admission fee is charged nor whether the performers are paid or not. In each of these instances a JACAP license is necessary.

I already pay the artiste; do I have to pay royalties to JACAP too?

When a performer is paid to perform at an event, such payment is for his service as a performing artiste, not for the public performance of the musical works. Whether or not the works were written by the performer licence fees are separate from performers’ fees.

What happens if I do not have a licence?

If you do not have a JACAP licence your event is not fully licensed to use music legally in JAMAICA
JACAP takes all reasonable steps to ensure compliance. Failure to obtain a licence for the use of music in public, or in any commercial environment, may result in legal action for copyright infringement and can result in injunctions, fines or imprisonment.

Do I need a licence even though i bought the CD?

The purchase of an original CD or download of music from a legal site, gives you possession of a copy of the work, which, you may play for your personal enjoyment and that of your
family and friends.
The moment you begin to use the CD/Download to play music in a place open to the public or in a commercial environment, you now require a JACAP licence which allows the public use of music.
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