KECOBO green lights MCSK, two CMOs to collect music royalties

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has awarded licenses to three Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) to collect royalties for the year 2019.

In a statement to newsrooms on Sunday, KECOBO said the CMOs – Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performance Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) – were licensed after meeting stringent conditions set by the board.

KAMP will hence collect on behalf of producers of sound recording while PRISK will collect performers. MCSK was handed a lifeline after two years in the cold, coming in to replace the Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE).

“To secure a license, MCSK was required to hold elections, restructure its management, agree to a forensic audit of its financial records of the last two years and accept an independent Board Chairperson to oversee a turnaround,” read the statement.

“It was also required to obtain new letters of authorisation from its members and provide further details of its members.”

Announcing the board’s decision, KECOBO Executive Director Edward Sigei said: “The three CMOs shall be required to issue a joint invoice and collect jointly. They will, therefore, issue a joint license.”

“All the three CMOs will be required to distribute at least 70 % of the revenues they collect as royalties to their members.”

David Muriithi, a former Board Member at KECOBO, was also deployed to chair the MCSK Board for a period of one year to assist in reforming the organisation.

A forensic audit covering a period of two years will be undertaken at MCSK within six months.

“KECOBO’s management will analyse the CMOs Memorandum and Articles of Association to find areas of wastage and non-compliance and advise accordingly. In addition, the Directors of the three Collecting Societies will be subjected to further Corporate Governance training in due course,” added the statement.

Mr. Sigei further added: “The pending Copyright Amendment Bill, which is before Senate, will give KECOBO more flexibility in dealing with CMOs management when passed and assented to by the President.”

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