Kenya’s regulator licenses new royalties body

Kenya’s government regulator, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), has licensed a new collective management organisation (CMO) to collect royalties on behalf of authors, composers and publishers from March 2017 to February 2018.


The board announced that the Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE) had satisfied the requirements of Section 46 of the Copyright Act, 2001 and Regulation 15 and 16 of the Copyright Regulations, 2004.

Meanwhile, the board has upheld its February 2017 decision to deny the embattled Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) a licence to collect royalties on behalf of its 15 000 members after it failed to meet the requirements. MCSK failed 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.

The board also reviewed an application by another new CMO, the National Music Copyright Society of Kenya Limited (NAMCOS), but noted that the applicant failed to demonstrate its capacity to collect royalties if granted a licence.

In a statement released yesterday, MPAKE, which was registered on 13 April 2015, promised to represent and safeguard the rights of music publishers, authors and composers in Kenya and other rights holders from other parts of the world by way of bilateral/reciprocal agreements with their respective countries.

The leadership of MPAKE includes musicians such as Stella Mengeles, Amileena Mwenesi, Dan Aceda, Linda Muthama, Calvin Kirimba, Lilian Mibei, Njeri Njesh, Sara Nanaa, Edward Irungu Randalson as well as music publishers Mike Strano of PHAT! Music and Entertainment, Pacho Studio co-owner Bernard Kioko and Judy Wambui Karara who is involved in international catalogue publishing. The team also includes Arthur K who has many years of experience in music industry management.

“In conjunction with our counterparts PRISK and KAMP mandated with safeguarding the rights of music performers and producers, we seek to forge an agreement to facilitate joint licensing," MPAKE said in a statement. "We are keen on fostering inclusivity and are currently in the process of co-opting representatives of the Kenya Musicians Union, made up of eight regional musicians’ associations.” 

The CMO officials promised to work with non-members provided they can demonstrate rightful claim to any works written, composed and/or published. This will give orphaned MCSK members a chance at representation.

“MPAKE welcomes any and all members from any societies, previous or incumbent, to sign up as members of MPAKE,” it said.



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