Neighbouring Rights

Protection of Performers, Producers of Sound Recordings and Broadcasting Organisations 

Neighbouring Rights are property rights which subsist in performances, sound recordings and broadcasts and is sometimes referred to as “Related Rights”, a term in Copyright Law, used in opposition to the term “Authors’ Rights“. The term Neighbouring Rights is exactly equivalent, and is a more literal translation of the original French droits voisins, as related rights in Civil Law are similar to that of Authors’ Rights, but are not connected with the work’s actual author. Both Authors’ Rights and Related Rights are Copyrights in the sense of English or U.S. law. There is no single definition of related rights, which vary widely in scope between different countries than that of Authors’ Rights.

(Local protection of Performers, Producers and Broadcasters rights are provided for in the Copyright act of Trinidad & Tobago, amended version 2008) under Neighbouring Rights.


The Copyright Act of Trinidad and Tobago, 2008. Part VI, Ownership and Assignment 26

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (2) to (5), the original owner of Copyright is the author who has created the work. (1A) Subject to the provisions of section 25 and subsections (7) to (9), the original owners of Neighbouring Rights in— (a) a performance, is the performer in the performance; (b) a sound recording, is the producer of the sound recording; and (c) a broadcast, is the broadcasting organisation. (2) In respect of a work of joint authorship, the coauthors shall be the original owners of Copyright, but if a work of joint authorship consists of parts that can be used separately and the author of each part can be identified, the author of each part shall be the original owner of copyright in the part that he has created. (3) In respect of a collective work, the natural person or legal entity at the initiative and under the direction of whom or which the work has been created shall be the original owner of copyright. (4) In respect of a work created by an author employed by a natural person or legal entity in the course of his employment, the original owner of copyright shall be, unless provided otherwise by agreement, the employer.


Offences by bodies corporate. [5 of 2008].

Where an offence under this Part committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate commits an offence and in the case of an officer of such body corporate, is liable, upon conviction, to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for ten years and in the case of the body corporate, is liable upon conviction, to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 43. No prosecution for an offence under this Act.

Works of Mas

The Definition of “Works of Mas” Under the Copyright Act. 82:80

A “Work of Mas” is an original production intended to be performed by a person or group of persons in which an artistic work in the form of an adornment or image presented by the person or persons, is the primary element of the production and which such adornment or image may be accompanied by words, music, choreography or other works, regardless of whether the production is intended to be performed on stage, platform, street or other venue.



This Act shall also apply to Works made, Performances given, Sound Recordings made and Broadcasts first transmitted before the date of the coming into force of this Act, Copyright 1985.


“Works of Mas” therefore comprises:

The performer in the performance (The Masquerader/Live Performer)

Author/Composer (Music)

The Designer/The producer

The Bandleader – as the owner of the entire production


Who are TTCO’s members under “Works of Mas”?

300 members of the NCDF (Legacy, Tribe, Spice, Fantasy, Island People etc.) as well as, individual bandleaders, designers and producers.


Who are some of the other organisations that must sign into TTCO under “Works of Mas”?

NCC, NCBA, Pantrinbago, TUCO, Broadcasters/Television Stations, Commercial Businesses, Borough Corporations, Print/Producers of Magazines, Designers/Design House, Movie Houses/Cinemas.

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