MCSK granted CMO licence for 2019

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has granted licences to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) and the Performance Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) to collect royalties in 2019.

This development was made public on Sunday through a press statement issued by KECOBO executive director Edward Sigei.

“The three CMOs [collective management organisations] shall be required to issue a joint invoice and collect jointly," he said. "The CMOs will issue a joint licence and will be required to distribute at least 70% of the revenues they collect as royalties to their members. They were also required to submit their 2019 budgets to KECOBO before the award of licence to control wastage."

KAMP and PRISK retained their licences to collect on behalf of producers of sound recordings and performers, respectively, while the MCSK makes a return in place of the Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), which was licensed to collect royalties between March 2017 and February 2018.

Former KECOBO board member David Muriithi has been selected to chair the MCSK board for a period of one year. His mandate is to turn around the organisation by implementing corporate and management reforms. Muriithi will also oversee a forensic audit covering a period of two years in the next six months.
New MCSK board chairperson David Muriithi.

In 2017, the MCSK was revoked a licence after failing to produce its latest audited financial statements for the year ending June 2016, declare the amount of royalties collected and provide a list of its members. To secure a licence, MCSK was required to hold elections, restructure its management, agree to a forensic audit of its financial records of the past two years and accept an independent board chairperson to oversee a turnaround.

The MCSK was also required to obtain new authorisation letters from its members to collect royalties on their behalf as well as provide further details about its members.

Sigei said the above directives were interim measures until the Kenya Copyright Amendment Bill of 2017 was passed in June 2019.

“The pending Copyright Amendment Bill, which is before the Senate, will give KECOBO more flexibility in dealing with CMOs management when passed and assented to by the president,” he said.

Meanwhile, KECOBO has organised a public participation forum at the NHIF building Auditorium on 24 January to assist in activating joint collection and develop of a joint tariff to be presented by the three CMOs.

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