As thousands of Kenyan artistes continue languishing in misery, the royalties war among Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) persists! Recently, the current chairman of Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Albert Gacheru, addressed President Uhuru Kenyatta concerning licencing of CMOs, seeking to have a lasting solution to the thorny issue. However, newlylicensed Music Publishers Association of Kenya (Mpake) has faulted the move by Gacheru, calling it misleading.
“It is indeed true that Kenyan musicians have not been paid royalties for their copyrights in 2017 because of a case at Kakamega High Court, which was actually filed by members of MCSK. An order was issued by the Court, which barred Mpake from collecting royalties for seven months. However, the order was lifted recently, allowing Mpake to begin collections in November, last year,” read a statement by Mpake director, Ben Githae.
However, Gacheru reads malice in the legal and supremacy battle facing his organisation.
He says: “I believe that the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) has it’s own interests in the management of our organisation because they have asked for a number of things, including asking to sit on our board and be signatories to our accounts, something which I find fishy. Other CMOs are not being targeted like we’ve been, and our members have not issued any right to any other body to collect royalties on their behalf. What Mpake is doing is illegal and is a scandal that needs intervention from the Executive.”