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Hotels, pubs sign new copyright licence regime

TARIFFS: The Kenya Association of Hotel-keepers and Caterers (KAHC) in partnership with industry stakeholders has signed a new copyright licensing regime that will see hotels, restaurants and pubs pay new tariffs for background use of musical work, sound recordings and audio visual works played in their establishments.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday between KAHC, Pubs Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak) and the Collective Management Organisations (CMO’s), the deal will involve a re-negotiated tariff principle based on a percentage of the single business permit (SBP) and where applicable the liquor licence (LL) based on the county in which the business operates in.

Under the Copyright Act, any business establishment, where music is publicly performed either live or through any device, must pay a fee to obtain licences from several music collecting societies also known as collective management organisations (CMOs).

Such licence fees for music are set out in the Collecting Society Tariffs, also known as tariffs approved and gazetted by the Attorney General from time to time.

“Stakeholders and the relevant CMO’s were hosted by Kenya Copyright Board to renegotiate the music royalty tariffs payable specifically for the use of background music by the members of these associations and develop a more professional efficient method of collection,” said KAHC chief executive Mike Macharia.

The establishments previously criticised the disproportionate burden of tariffs placed upon them due to their relative visibility and accessibility compared with other categories and types of licensees payable to tax agencies.

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