Boda Boda operators to pay for playing music on their bicycles or motorbikes.

Boda boda operators, barber shops, gyms and night clubs will start paying for music they play in a review of copyright fees to boost earnings for musicians.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai has also approved an increase in music tariffs for public transport operators, radio stations and aircraft.

The new figures represent a six-fold rise of charges for some businesses such as public bus transport. Owners will now pay Ksh36,550 per year up from Ksh6,000.

Under the new changes, Boda boda operators will pay Ksh300 for playing music on their bikes, Tuk Tuk (Ksh900) while barber shops, gyms and salons will pay up to Ksh6,250.

Radio stations will pay between Ksh200,000 and Ksh700,000 depending on their reach, up from between Ksh20,000 and Ksh300,000. With millions of outlets laying music, this will translate into millions of shillings.

The move is expected to boost Music Publishers Association of Kenya’s revenues. Mpake took over the role of handling musicians’ royalties from the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) in March.

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Artistes complained that MCSK spent the bulk of their royalties on operational expenses and paid them a measly surplus.

“Collecting of society tariffs takes effect from the date of publication to the December 31, 2018,” Prof Muigai says in legal notice No. 57 published on April 21 adding that “the Copyright Act Tariffs of 2015 is revoked.

“This tariff shall be subject to an annual increment pegged on the prevailing rate of inflation.”

Gazetting the new rates clears the way for implementation which will also see politicians pay Mpake Sh30,000 per day or a flat annual fee of Ksh620,000 for truck roadshows.

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Corporate entities, NGOs and State agencies undertaking promotional road shows will pay the same amount. Local airlines have not been spared as they will pay Ksh504 per seat, up from the current Ksh234.

Those performing live concerts will pay up to Ksh1.5 million annually for playing other artistes’ music, with night clubs paying a maximum fee of Ksh500,000.

Mobile phone firms will have to part with half of the money generated from ring back tones, up from 37 per cent. Last year, Intellectual Property Owners Association and Mpake moved to court to demand a “clean up” of MCSK. MCSK continued to breach the law that required it not to spend more than 30 per cent of its revenues on operations.



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