Editorial | Pain of permits for parties
As the Government considers complaints from the entertainment sector about the perceived stringency of the noise abatement law, it might wish to implement an obvious and easy fix to an often-frustrating process for most people, including professionals seeking to host events at which amplified music will be played.
Such affairs, in keeping with the Noise Abatement Act, have to be authorised by the police. They also have to be sanctioned, for a fee, by the municipal authorities, which, in the case of the capital, is the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).
For the right to play music at these functions, the sponsors must pay rights fees to the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP), which collects and distributes royalties to categories of content creators, including singers, who are its members. Similarly, a fee has to be paid to, and a permit obtained from, the Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS), which looks after the interests of record companies and producers.
Usually, the police won’t grant a permit for an event unless there is evidence that all obligations have been complied with. And each of these permits has to be separately obtained, from different organisations, at different places.
It would be an easy matter, it seems to us, if, in applying for the KSAMC permit, the fees for JACAP and JAMMS could be paid at the same time. The amounts would be remitted to these organisations, which might be required to pay a small management fee for the service. That would make for greater efficiency than now prevails.