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Music Copyright Society of Kenya ends 2-year dispute with Kenya Copyright Board

Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) chief executive officer Dr Ezekiel Mutua has announced the end of a two-year wrangle with the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) that saw them denied a licence.

The CEO told Nairobi News they resolved the issue that prevented them from collecting royalties for Kenyan artistes in the country and are now in possession of a Collective Management Organisations (CMO) licence.

“We have resolved the outstanding issues,” said Dr Mutua.

He told MCSK members that the issues had been resolved following a recent intervention by the portfolio committee on sports and culture headed by Webuye West MP Daniel Wanyama Sitati.

“We have now fully resolved the outstanding issues with the regulator and will now implement a robust collection and distribution framework that will ensure full compliance with the Copyright Act by all users of copyrighted musical works for the benefit of our members,” Dr Mutua said.

During the committee hearing held at the Tamarind Tree Hotel on 5 May, KEKOBO CEO Edward Sigei told the committee that MCSK had been denied the licence because of incomplete submissions.

Mr Sigei had accused MCSK of failing to carry out an audit, which is part of the requirements that all CMOs must meet before the regulator renews their licence.

On the other hand, Dr Mutua told the committee that they had been through hell under Mr Sigei, who has frustrated their every move and made their lives unbearable.

“We have been treated unfairly for so long,” Dr Mutua told the committee.

The committee assured all artistes that it would take the matter seriously and directed the regulator to issue licences to all CMOs within two weeks.

The sitting was convened following a successful petition by Kirinyaga Woman Representative Jane Njeri, who petitioned the committee on behalf of MCSK, Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) AND Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).

Webuye West MP also hinted out possibility of petitioning for the removal of Mr Sigei from KEKOBO, saying that he has been the bone of contention in the music industry for the past six years.

Further, the committee promised to weed out cartels within the music industry who have been making Kenyans musicians’ lives miserable by taking away their money.

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