Every time ECCO (Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights) makes a distribution of royalties to its members and international affiliates, 25% of works performed on average, are classed as unidentifiable. Meaning, for a number of reasons such as; corrupt title (e.g. ‘Rance with me’ instead of ‘Dance with me’ to state a simple example); or the writer is unknown; or no connection between artist/performer with the songwriter; or the work is not registered locally; or work cannot be found in international databases and a countless no. of other reasons.
In the above situation ECCO has to keep these, referred to as PI (Pending Identification) for a rolling three years during which time PI distributions are performed on a regular basis to reduce the levels. PI list are also shared with sister societies regionally and extra regionally so that representatives of foreign rights holders have an opportunity to claim from these outstanding royalties.
For the first time, in January 2016, the PI list will be made available to members who will be allowed to research and claim performances they identify as belonging to them.
Therefore members are encouraged to make an appointment to visit the office and examine the PI file that will be made available at the ECCO Head Office. Members based overseas will also have the opportunity to scrutinize the file through arrangement with the Local ECCO Director in the wider ECCO territories who will also have a copy of the PI file.
To claim a share in over $100,000 in unpaid royalties, member claiming works from the list would have to identify his/her performances and if work is unregistered would need to complete registration forms and present a copy of the recording following which a payment would be made.