Kenyan musicians breathe sigh of relief after Court rules in favour of MCSK
08 June 2016, 17:52
Nairobi - Kenyan musicians now have a sigh of relief after the court ruled in favour of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) directing that all royalties due to the copyright owners be paid as provided for in the Copyright Act 2001 of the penal code.
The payments will now be done through the Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) on behalf of the copyright owners unlike in the past where private companies have been collecting the dues.
Safaricom Limited, from the Skiza Tunes platform has released all the royalties due to the copyright owners amounting to KShs. 141 Million to three CMOs which had accrued from July 2015 to February 2016.
Another KShs. 47 Million has been declared for distribution MCSK members above the distribution of the royalties received from the Skiza platform.
MCSK National Chairman Mr. Bernard Mkaisi cautioned the private firms which have been swindling artists millions of shillings in the name of fighting for their rights of local artists.
“You cannot claim to be for artists when you own companies that collect huge chunks of funds on their behalf and only deliver a minute fraction and sometimes none to the musicians.” Mkaisi said.
This comes amid viral circulation of an offending bill-Kenya Music and Communication Royalties Bill 2016 which MCSK Director Albert Gicheru termed as malicious saying that it is being fronted by some politicians for their own benefit.
Gicheru dismissed the 2016 bill adding that it is a replica of the Copyright Act 2001 with some patches in favour of private companies which collect the dues.
“Malicious individuals have created a new bill under the table to suit their selfish interests which has made our artists continue to languish in utter poverty.” Gicheru said.
He told off the politicians for meddling in a business that does not concern them adding that artists should be involved in passing such bills.
Among the companies in question are Cellulant, Sociocom, Liberty Africa among others which are owned by Kenyan legislators.The companies had earlier received KShs. 78 Million through the court monies that were not rightfully shared to the copyright owners
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