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MCSK, KAMP axed as KECOBO names organisation to collect musicians' royalties

This consolidation aims to reduce costs and ensure a higher percentage of royalties reaches artists.

KECOBO Board Chairperson Joshua Kutuny
  • KECOBO approved licensing of a single organisation to manage music rights in Kenya
  • Five organisations applied to operate as CMOs, including Music Copyright Society of Kenya and Performing and Audio-Visual Rights Society of Kenya (PAVRISK
  • PAVRISK has been licensed to manage all music rights and performers' audiovisual rights for one year

In a move aimed at streamlining the collective management organisations (CMOs) sector, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has approved the licensing of a single organisation to manage music rights.

This decision comes after an extensive two-month deliberation process, highlighting the need for greater transparency, reduced operational costs, and fair royalty distribution.

On April 10, 2024, KECOBO invited applications from competent companies to operate as CMOs through a public advertisement.

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Five organisations applied: Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Film Makers Rights Achievers of Kenya (FRAK), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performing and Audio-Visual Rights Society of Kenya (PAVRISK) formely PRISK and Collective Management Services.

The subsequent call for public input on April 30 resulted in hundreds of submissions, culminating in a public participation forum on May 28 attended by over 200 stakeholders, including CMO representatives.

The Board's review revealed persistent issues within the existing CMOs, including ongoing disputes, failure to honour a tripartite agreement, and shared resources that inflated costs.

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"The lack of transparency in royalty collection and distribution has severely impacted artists, leading to corruption and misappropriation of funds," added Kutuny.

In response, KECOBO has licensed the Performing and Audio-Visual Rights Society of Kenya (PAVRISK) to manage all music rights and performers' audiovisual rights for one year.

PAVRISK is expected to begin collections immediately, although it will not oversee publishing and film producers' rights for now.

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This consolidation aims to reduce costs and ensure a higher percentage of royalties reaches artists.

"By approving a single CMO, we aim to eliminate the inefficiencies and conflicts that have plagued the sector. We urge all stakeholders to support this transition for the betterment of our creative community," stated Kutuny.

Additionally, KECOBO will negotiate new tariffs to be published in the Kenya Gazette by December 2024, aiming to lower the cost of doing business for copyright work users.

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In parallel, the Board announced a leadership transition within KECOBO, with George Nyakweba taking over as Acting Executive Director from Edward Sigei. The recruitment process for a new CEO is expected to be completed by September 2024.

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Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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