Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) has come under fire from artistes who are unhappy with their share of royalties.
Following the announcement by MCSK on August 9 that they would be commencing distribution of royalties collected in the second quarter of the year from August 13, many of the responses by artistes on their social media accounts exuded gratitude and reprieve at the thought of receiving the fruits of their hard labour.
However, Khaligraph Jones opened the barrage of attacks after receiving an Mpesa message indicating that he had been paid only Sh2,530 from the Collective Management Organisation (CMO). The figure also included the withdrawal fee.
Many artistes have come out to question how the sum, which seems to be a standard payment to many, was arrived at.
Responding to a tweet by another rapper, King Kaka, that the sum of Sh2,500 divided among 15,000 members roughly came up to Sh37 million, MCSK responded: “We have distributed royalties to all our members (13,967) general distribution. It’s Performance in Public Places distribution and these are collections for only two months.”
MCSK deleted this tweet and later tweeted: “Please note that we haven’t received a dime from any broadcasters who exploit music. Secondly, we made a general distribution because if we strictly followed scientific distribution, then 70 per cent of the money collected will be paid to the international societies.”
This is not the first time MCSK is finding itself in trouble regarding artistes’ royalty distribution. In 2011, the CMO was deregistered through a Gazette Notice for mismanaging funds.
However, the High Court allowed them to continue collecting royalties on behalf of artistes in June of the same year. Kenya Copyright Board also declined to renew the licence of MCSK for the year 2017.
This is not the first time MCSK is finding itself in trouble regarding artistes’ royalty distribution.
In 2011, the CMO was deregistered through a Gazette Notice for mismanagement of funds.
According to Kenya Gazette Notice number 5093 of May 6, 2011, signed by executive director Marisella Ouma and chairman Henry Chakava of the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo), the society was deregistered on April 1, 2011.
However, the High Court allowed for them to continue collecting royalties on behalf of artistes in June of the same year.
Kenya Copyright Board also declined to renew the license of MCSK for the year 2017.
Some artistes, led by Nonini and Rufftone, had in January called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to digitise the collection of royalties after Kecobo issued a license to Kenya Association of Music Producers, Performers Rights Society of Kenya as well as MCSK to collect royalties for the year 2019.
Kecobo, speaking on the matter of royalties distributions through a press release, said that Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and MCSK have distributed a total of Sh80 million to their members which represented 68 per cent of the Sh118 million they jointly collected.
The amount distributed, they noted though, was two per cent short of the 70 per cent they set us a pre-condition for licensing of the three societies.