There is bound to be a change in the order of things if the proposed Kenya’s copyright law is passed. One of the adjustments in the law will make provision for Guitarists, Drummers and Dancers to get equal remuneration from television and radio royalties.
If the move is successful, it will be the first time that Dancers and Instrumentalists earn such privileged for work they participate in.
Before the Attorney-General of Kenya, Githu Muigai, proposed the bill, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) collected royalties on behalf of composers and singers and left out the bulk of producers and acoustic players. The producers and performers were denied royalties for lack of legal backing and this have caused disagreements among different associations.
The proposed adjustment however comes with a new clause in section 30A of the Kenya Copyright Act 2001 (No 12 of 2001) – to give music producers the right to claim an equitably remuneration for sound recordings and visual works among themselves.
“If a sound recording is published for commercial purposes or a reproduction of such recording is used directly for broadcast or other communication to the public performed, a single equitable remuneration for the performer and the producer of the sound recording shall be paid by the user through their respective collecting management organisation,” Prof Muigai told Kenya Gazette Supplement.
This means that radio and television stations or any other music users such as restaurants and bars will now have to pay producers or performers of a particular music separately and on an agreed equitable ration.
In addition, if the new law comes into effect, it will give the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) and the Performers Right Society the legal backing to collect royalties on behalf of their members.
The Chief Executive Officer at the Performers Rights Society of Kenya, Angela Ndambuki, believes that if the law is passed, it will put Kenya on par with international best practice. She said the move would be an advantage to all users of music as they can now play what they want to play without any restrictions as before.
She asserted, “The equitable remuneration right is actually not about KAMP and the performers’ society but about the producers and performers as a whole.”
On the broadcasting tariffs, Ndambuki said that it would depend on what classifications the broadcaster belong. Based on the use of the music either for commercial or non-commercial purpose. Under the electronic system, musicians are paid royalties depending on the amount of air play they have received from broadcasters, dealing a blow to artistes who are yet to establish themselves in a market where consumers rarely buy songs.
In 2011, MSCK unveiled software that tracks all songs played by broadcasters – a move it said will boost earnings of top artistes.