Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) has commenced payment of royalties to its members since the last installment was paid in December.
The payments started on 12 April after the receipt of more than 2 000 000 cedis from the Bank of Ghana through the registrar-general's department.
“Notice is hereby given to all members that the board in line with its mandate has approved the disbursement of funds as indicated below to settle the outstanding royalty payment due to members for December 2016 via mobile money, bank transfers and over-the-counter payments for the old, disabled and infirm members," a statement by PR officer Prince Tsegah says.
The news is a pleasant turn for GHAMRO, which was involved in some controversy concerning its February elections. The elections went ahead despite an injunction. Rex Omar was elected to succeed former president Kojo Antwi. Following the elections, executives of the body underwent training by Rob Hooijer of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
In the statement, Tsegah notes that the sum being distributed is "almost 20% more than what is statutorily required by the regulations" and issues an instruction to establishments using music: “To enable the society improve on its collections and distribute higher royalties to members, the board and management of GHAMRO urge all music users such as broadcasting stations (radio & TV), telecommunication operators, banking & other financial institutions, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, spinning groups, event organisers, offices, hairdressing salons, barber shops and all other public places, to apply to GHAMRO for a licence to regularise their usage of musical works.
“Please note that failure to obtain a licence for the use of music in public is unlawful and punishable under the copyright laws of Ghana.”