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KAMP, PRISK and MCSK get nod to undertake joint music licensing

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The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) on Wednesday issued licenses to three collective management organisations to collect copyright and related works license fees.

The three include Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).

KECOBO Executive Director Edward Sigei presented the licenses to the chairmen of the three CMOs, Anthony Karani (KAMP), Ephantus Wahome (PRISK) and Japheth Kassanga (MCSK).

The three CMOS had fulfilled all the conditions set by the Regulator and going forward they are expected to collect and issue licenses jointly and signed commitment document that shows that they have agreed to distribute 70%  of revenues collected.

The three chairmen thanked the KECOBO and the office of the Attorney General for the tremendous support accorded them towards ensuring that the rights of authors, composers, publishers, producers and performers are upheld despite the challenges.

“With this good news it is our hope that the confusion that has been witnessed since the beginning of the year especially from users of works will soon come to an end. We are ready to hit the ground running and we can finally issue one Joint license,” said Karani.

With the advent of joint licensing, users of works will now be able to pay for a single license. Karani envisages many benefits among reduced operation costs at all levels, and increased payouts to members.

Wahome, expressed confidence in the three CMOs working together and being able to deliver to the artists, in a timely, efficient and seamless manner. “We are grateful to God and excited that the journey to collection has started. We request all users to comply so that copyright owners can benefit for the use of their works,” he said.

Kassanga said: “The relationship between KAMP, PRISK and MCSK represents a powerful opportunity for CMOs to significantly expand their presence in Kenya. MCSK over the past years has demonstrated its ability and willingness to work together and to use its resources and expertise to get more users to comply. We’re excited to partner with KAMP and PRISK as we focus our combined energies on serving our members and rights holders and to fight and protect their interests. We have a new Board in place, which was one of the conditions that had to be met in order for MCSK to get a license. I want to assure our members that we are on the right path to getting MCSK adhere to good corporate governance.”

And also to be rolled out as per the meeting held between the three CMOs, is a digital system that will enhance licensing and ensure precise distribution of royalties.

“We remain committed to implementing the new joint licensing tariffs. We will be calling for proposals for the acquisition of a new digital licensing system that will enable rights users to pay for and get their license online,” he added.

The tendering and expression of interest for the digital licensing system is expected to be done on Friday with details and specifications of the requirements made available on the respective CMOs websites.

Also present during the meeting were CEOs of Clifford Wefwafwa Mabele (KAMP), Joseph Njagi (PRISK) and Milka Kulati, acting CEO of MCSK.

“Today’s announcement is another solid step in our journey to work together. The last couple of years have been very disruptive to the music industry in Kenya and we hope that this being a new beginning, with Joint Licensing Operations. KAMP has retained their licenses for the 10th year and with the issuance of these licenses by the regulator shows good will and is a clear reflection of the numerous efforts by the CMOs and other stakeholders to pursue a joint licensing system. This partnership will help us fully deliver on our mandates and responsibilities. We are very capable of working together in order to protect and get value for our rights holders. We would also like to notify all users of copyright and related rights, i.e. broadcasters, telecommunication companies, restaurants, shops, business premises, vehicles, etc. that things are easier now and it’s time for them to comply,” said Wefwafwa.

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“The Kenyan creative industry has a very big potential. I can’t imagine life without music or some form of dramatic works. I’m sure that this newly found joint engagement will go a long way in reducing costs of operations and thus increase on the amounts available for distribution. To the users, kindly support artists by way paying for copyright and related rights license for use their works. This is an integral part of the economy that we can’t afford to kill,” added Njagi.


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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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