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Monday, December 6, 2021

KECOBO Move To Deregister CMOs ‘A Win’ For Artists

The Kenya Copyrights Board (KECOBO) has de-registered three Collective Management Organisations(CMOs) after an uproar over unfair royalties.

According to KECOBO, the three; Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), and Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) failed to meet the stringent conditions stipulated.

The three CMOs reportedly distributed Ksh. 41 million (35.9%) instead of Ksh. 79 million (70%) out of the Ksh. 114 million collected by July 2021. 

The CMOs were also found to have fallen short of licensing conditions; specifically, breach of administrative cost limit and diversion of royalties into an undeclared account whose operations are not monitored by KECOBO.

Peanuts

The move comes after a year-on-year cry by artists to regulate the CMOs, who have been subject to criticism over poor payouts.

Several artists have voiced their displeasure over the management of their royalties, calling on the government to allow fellow artists to head these boards.

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Some of these artists are;

  1. Khaligraph Jones

On 9th September 2020, Khaligraph Jones commented on an audit that had been done on the CBOs.

In his post on Instagram, he argued that the audit was unnecessary as different musicians and artists had complained over the theft of their royalties and said that the entertainment industry was suffering. 

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He has gone a step further in calling out the organizations for unscrupulous payouts that shadow Kenyan artists’ achievements.

  • Reuben Kigame

On March 20th 2021, Presidential candidate Reuben Kigame took to his Twitter account saying that Government Officials and copyright board officials should not speak during his burial.

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He continued to add that after 29 years in the music industry and having his songs played daily he only received Ksh. 18,000, despite his music garnering wide airplay.

He added that the royalties collected do not benefit musicians at all.

  • Willy Paul

Willy Paul, once did a viral video where he expressed his disappointment after receiving Ksh. 1000 from Performers Rights Society of Kenya.

He has over the years complained of the royalties he has received even after having songs that are played almost daily.

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  • JackyB

On 29th July 2021, Music Producer Jacky B received Ksh. 1197 from Performers Rights Society of Kenya. He took to his Instagram account the issue and complained of receiving the money.  He is a representation of not only the musicians are suffering in the hands of the CBOs but also music producers and other creatives.

  • Krg the Don

On 29th July 2021, KRG the Don also received the Ksh. 1,197 from Performers Rights Society of Kenya.

He complained and termed the amount as peanuts and complained that they received such an amount yet the CBO receives billions of cash every year.

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Skiza Tunes

Deregistering the CBOs comes after the Skiza tunes rates were increased from 30% to 40% as of July 1st 2021.

This comes as a win to the artist since the state said that ringtones should be exempted from exercise tax to ensure the growth of artists.

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KECOBO assures creatives that they will get what is due to them which is 70% of what is collected to ensure that they benefit from their talents.

They also ask the artists to be patient as they streamline the sector.

Artists are calling for the Government to do an audit and track the missing money that was not distributed by the CBOs. They also continue to ask for the arrest and charging those found guilty of not paying artists their royalties.

*This article was written by Christine Nyaguthii for Uzalendo News.  Email: uzalendonews24@gmail.com to submit your story.
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