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Bien slams ‘outdated’ royalty system, pushes for scientific method

Bien-Aime Baraza says general distribution method in use for royalties-distribution out-dated
Going forward, artiste Bien Aime Baraza wants the only licensed collective management organisation (CMO), the Performing and Audiovisual Rights Society of Kenya(PAVRISK) to collect and distribute artiste royalties only via the scientific method.

Despite not having distributed any royalties to its members in a year, and also noted misappropriation of funds in an audit report in 2023 commissioned by Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), PAVRISK was the only CMO out of five applicants whose license was renewed by the regulator.

PAVRISK recently put an ad in the dailies, notifying members of the public that they alone will be collecting royalties on behalf of artistes.

And as the CMO sets out to do the collections, Bien insists: “I have been trying to enforce scientific distribution among CMOs because this is where the world is at right now. KAMP (Kenya Association of Music Producers) have become the first to distribute scientifically in 10 years, and this is where other collection societies also have to be heading towards.”

The scientific method of distribution means that the distribution of royalties would be based on actual usage of music, and, where such data is not available, then a survey is done and royalty distribution based on available data on airplay.

The other method is general distribution.

Earlier last week, Bien and Sauti Sol’s record label Sol Generation emerged as among the top five highest earners in the latest distribution by KAMP.

On Tuesday, June 11, Kamp distributed sh8,050,170 to its members, marking its second distribution in its first quarter. From the amounts paid, KAMP noted that the highest earner received sh1,221,607, with the second taking home sh734,723 and the third walking away with Sh697,163 with Bien and Sol Generation among the three top earners.

In April, KAMP announced it would distribute sh17,128,00 for the first quarter of 2024 with the process taking a hybrid approach consisting of a blend of general and scientific distributions, where the bulk, sh9.075 million, will be general to all members and sh8.05 million as scientific.

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