Two music organisations sue broadcasters over licence fees

The court has been asked to make a determination regarding payment of royalties even as the accused entities deny any liabilities on their part.

Sunday February 7 2016

MP Johnston Sakaja (center) together with various artists addresses the media on January 15, 2016 at National Theatre on allegations of fraud at Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK). MCSK pays composers, authors and publishers royalties. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

MP Johnston Sakaja (center) together with various artists addresses the media on January 15, 2016 at National Theatre on allegations of fraud at Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK). MCSK pays composers, authors and publishers royalties. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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The music tune appears to have changed for music owners, distributors and the broadcasters after a tussle emerged over the payment of royalties amounting to millions of shillings.

In separate suits, the court has been asked to make a determination regarding payment of royalties even as the accused entities deny any liabilities on their part.

Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRiSK) and Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), have in their application said that the media houses have been and still commercially broadcast sound recordings and audio-visual works of right holders who are their members, without paying the necessary licence fees to them as the Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) mandated to collect the royalties.

PRiSK and KAMP want to recover the alleged outstanding licence fees as at December 2014, from the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (Sh52,272,000), Nation Media Group (Sh22,464,000), Standard Group (Sh11,232,000), Mediamax Network Ltd (Sh16,128,000) and Royal Media Services (Sh67,392,000).

“We seek a permanent injunction restraining the media houses from broadcasting sound recordings or audio visual works belonging to the right holders of PRSK and KAMP to the public until they have paid to the two CMOs the outstanding license fees,” explained lawyer Wambua Kilonzo for PRiSK and KAMP.

The affected media houses have, however, disputed the mandate of PRiSK and KAMP to collect royalties, saying that they have paid the said royalties to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).

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