CMOs to get share of media advertisement revenue in new law

The government is planning to introduce amendments to the copyright act that will see media share their advertisement revenue with Collective Management Organizations (CMOs), the non-profit entities that license, track and collect publishing royalties for music creators.

This was revealed by Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) Director General Edward Sigei, who was the key speaker at the inaugural Annual Conference for Neighbouring Rights Music Licensing Companies hosted by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Nairobi.

The event, which brought together CMOs, National Recording Groups and Record Labels from across the Sub-Saharan Africa region, aimed to nurture business relations, promote industry good practices and continue the dialogue between IFPI, CMOs and companies.

Sigei said that the government was working on policy to ensure that CMOs benefit from increased revenue from airing of recorded works, including through a revenue share plan with the media.

“The government is exploring legal means to ensure all its agencies including the Communications Authority of Kenya, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) among others can facilitate the collection of royalties. Furthermore, it will work with County Governments to ensure businesses pay royalties during the licensing process. In addition, the new comprehensive Tariffs will be published in the Kenya Gazette in due course,” he said.

He also announced that the draft Copyright Bill to replace the current one will be released by May 2023 for public participation and input by all relevant stakeholders.

The review will also re-consider if the current structure of the private sector, government-regulated collective management is still fit for purpose as well as opportunities offered by automation in the collection and payment of royalties, and reduction of costly administrative infrastructure replete with opaqueness, leakage, and fraud.

Chief Executive Officer Frances Moore termed the conference as timely at a period Africa is continually cementing its place in the global music space saying the continent’s new genre are adding dynamism and new culture in the industry.

“This forum provides an opportunity for stakeholders in this sector to foster strong relationships and synergy among the African nations. It is also an important opportunity to identify challenges and come back with solutions that will ensure our industry continues to prosper.”

The conference will see related rights CMOs, record companies and national groups from the Sub-Saharan Africa region discuss industry issues, particularly, the challenges, gaps and opportunities in the collective management of related rights.

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