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New Bill to end artists’ royalties woes

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The incessant wrangles between Kenyan artistes and Collective Management Organizations (CMO) could soon be a thing of the past if the current proposal is fully implemented.

The enactment of the Copyright Bill 2017 which proposes radical changes to the Copyright Act will see the country’s musicians, producers, actors, performers and film makers enjoy.

The enactment of the Copyright Bill 2017 which proposes radical changes to the Copyright Act will see the country’s musicians, producers, actors, performers and film makers enjoy better revenues.

The bill also aims to reduce cases of embezzlement of the artistes’ royalties as been witnessed in the recent past.The bill also proposes that Kenya Revenue Authority is tipped to collect the royalties on behalf of the artistes.

“This can be viewed as an effort to bolster accountability and verifiability in the collection and remittance of royalties. Considering the national scope of collection of such royalties, it is arguable that the KRA has greater collection capability as already applied with taxes and County revenue collection compared to individual CMOs,”said lawyer Bernard Musyoka

He added that this particular clause if adopted and enacted might also reduce the exceptional administrative costs that CMOs bear, which artistes have consistently complained of.

The 2017 Bill also proposes that The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) be granted the mandate to inspect and supervise various aspects of CMOs’ operations that will extend to the books of accounts and organizational records. However, Musyoka suggested that some sections of the proposed amendments should be further fine-tuned.

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) came under fierce criticism after a couple of performing musicians led by Elani band slammed the society for non-payments of their royalties which at one point saw rapper Abbas receive Ksh.87.

 

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