Gov't revokes MCSK, PRISK licences, suspends collection of royalties

Kenya Copyright Board says that the organisations diverted Sh38 milion from artists money.

MCSK CEO Milka during a press conference on distribution of performance in public places at the MCSK headquarters Nairobi

The Board of Directors of the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has taken a decision

to revoke license for three Collective Management Organisations namely Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK), and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).

According to a notice seen by Pulse Live on August 24, 2021, the three organisations' licences were revoked for failure to meet licensing conditions .

The Board had earlier in the year issued the three music royalty collecting societies with provisional licenses giving them time to meet the conditions set out by the KECOBO Board of Directors .

This follows show cause letters issued to the CMOs for non-compliance to the licensing conditions specifically breach of administrative cost limit and diversion of royalties into an undeclared account which operations are unmonitored by KECOBO.

The Board, at its meeting of August 11, 2021 further took note of the recent distribution of royalties where the CMOs distributed Sh41 million (35.9%) instead of Sh79 million (70%) from Sh114 million collected at the end of July 2021

This was done in defiance to the KECOBO license conditions . It should be noted that the distribution excludes money received and expensed in the other accounts out of KECOBO monitoring system.

The Board , after being dissatisfied with the CMOs' explanation in response to show cause letters, invoked the provisions of Section 46 (9) to 46 (12) of the Copyright Act to deregister KAMP, PRISK and MCSK .

Following the revocation of licenses, collection of royalties has been suspended for a period of three (3) months or until further advised.

The Board will, in conjunction with relevant ministries, shortly commence the process of seeking views on reforming the CMOs legal structure to prevent recurrence of the misuse of funds.

Meanwhile, the Board wishes to request rights holders to be patient and await public consultation on this matter.

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