MCSK not licensed to collect royalties, Kenya Copyright Board insists

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has issued a statement notifying the public of the right Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) legally licensed to collect royalties, and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) is not one of them.

The move comes after the 2017 dispute involving MCSK and artists who accused the body of never remitting to them the collected royalties.

This led to the March 2017 decision by the board to lock out MCSK from collecting the royalties, giving them a year to appeal the judgment.

Then MCSK Boss, Maurice Okoth was also suspended over corruption claims for which he was later acquitted.

In a statement sent to newsrooms on Thursday titled ‘Clarification on CMOs licensed by KECOBO to collect royalties in 2018,’ the state corporation says that, “Members of the public are notified that Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) did NOT have a license to collect royalties from users for the year 2017 and has NOT been issued with a license for the year 2018.”

The board goes ahead to add, “Further note that MCSK has been restrained from collecting royalties by the High Court in Kakamega (Petition No. 3B of 2017) and the High Court in Kisumu (Petition No. 11 of 2017.)

KECOBO has, instead, approved four CMOs to collect royalties from users and distribute them to its members in the country, as follows;

  • Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE) – Representing authors, composers and publishers of musical works in Kenya.
  • Performing Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) – Representing performers in musical and dramatic works.
  • Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) – Representing producers of sound recordings.
  • Kenya Reprographic Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN) – Representing authors and publishers of literally works.

The board further adds that they have henceforth appointed inspectors, with whom they have issued certificates of authority, to conduct inspections and arrests with the aim of enforcing the Kenya Copyright Act.

“Members of the public are advised to insist on production of a certificate of authority from any6 person purporting to act as a copyright inspector,” adds the statement.

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