Kenya Copyright Board Deregisters Three CMOs

KECOBO executive director Edward Sigei.
KECOBO executive director Edward Sigei. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has announced a decision to deregister the three Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) for failure to meet its licensing conditions.

The CMOs whose licences have been revoked include Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).

The Board had earlier in the year issued the three musk royalty collecting societies with provisional licenses as it allowed them time to meet the conditions set out by the KECOBO Board of Directors. This follows show cause letters issued to the CMOs for non-compliance to the licensing conditions specifically breach of administrative cost limit and diversion of royalties into an undeclared account which operations are unmonitored by KECOBO

said KECOBO executive director Edward Sigei.

The Board, at its meeting of August 11, 2021 further took note of the recent distribution of royalties where the CMOs distributed Ksh41 million (35.9%) instead of Ksh79 million (70 percent) from Ksh114 million collected at the end of July 2021 in defiance to the KECOBO license conditions.

The distribution excluded money received and expensed in the other accounts out of KECOBO monitoring system.

The Board, after being dissatisfied with the CMO explanation in response to show cause letters, invoked the provisions of Section 96(9) to 46(12) of the Copyright Act to deregister KAMP, PRISK and MCSK.

added Sigei.

Following the revocation of licenses, collection of royalties has been suspended for a period of three months or until further advised.

The Board will, in conjunction with relevant ministries, shortly commence the process of seeking views on reforming the CMO legal structure to prevent recurrence of the misuse of funds by CMOs.

Meanwhile, the Board wishes to request rights holders to be patient and await public consultation on this matter.

said Sigei.

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