Revealed: Why Kenyan Artists might “authorize” their songs for copyright

Kenyan Musicians King Kaka (Left) and Vivian Kenya (Right): Photo Courtesy

Kenyan musicians have criticized the Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) for blurriness and thievery of money collected on behalf of artists for music played on radio, TV, bars, matatus, and public events.

A report in August 2019 indicated that MCSK sent as low as KES 2,500 to top artists as annual revenues. The allocation saw Rappers Khaligraph Jones and King Kaka protesting and authorizing their songs for copyright.

 “So, MCSK sends everyone Sh2, 500. (Multiplied by) 15,000, that is Sh37 million. Are you sure that’s all you collected?” King Kaka’s tweet read in part.

 “MCSK, one day we’ll come to your place and stir you up. Don’t try sending me these peanuts again.” Khaligraph said.

However, MCSK defended itself saying it gave out the money to its 13,967 members from cash collected by those performing in public places. MCSK also noted that it had not received money from broadcasters. It also added that 30% of the money collected went to international CMOs.

The Kenya Copyright Board commonly ordered deep scrutiny on Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK), and the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) is in a bid to unearth what ails the entire music industry management.

The 2017 – 2019 forensic audit exposed deep-rooted systemic compromise. The findings are contained in a draft report tabled to the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) Chairman Mutuma Mathiu.

The report revealed that inefficiency included diversion of royalties, poor corporate governance structures, suspected fraudulent transactions, poor or totally no record-keeping and the existence of ghost or duplicate members.

The administration that governs CMOs is also said to be negligent in asset management as they also lack very vital policy documents. The docket does not remit statutory deductions, and have very significant gaps in structure and administration.

The Kecobo’s Executive Director Edward Sigei gave a seven-day period to the CMOs to respond and it started on Tuesday. That means that by Tuesday next week, the organizations should have replied to the queries from their regulator.

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Written by Hello News

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