The high court sitting in Kisumu has issued orders stopping MCSK from collecting royalties from music users and businesses. The orders were issued following a petition by Kisumu Bar Owners Association and Kisumu Green Garden Restaurant. In their petition, the two asked that the court stops MCSK from harassing music users and businesses in the name of collecting royalties while they (MCSK) did not have a valid license and were not gazette as a CMO.
In the ruling the judge quoted section 46(1) of the copyright act that states,
“No person or association of persons shall commence the business of a copyright collecting society except under or in accordance with a certificate of registration granted under this section”.
The judge noted that MCSK’s license to operate as a CMO expired on 31st December 2016 and their application to renew was declined and communicated through a letter dated 17 Feb 2017 from KECOBO.
The judge further noted that MCSK had continued to illegally collect royalties from music users in complete defiance of the law and therefore found it necessary to issue orders baring them from doing so.
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has licensed three organisations to collect royalties on behalf of the music industry for 2017. The three are Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE) which represents Authors, Composers, Arrangers and Publishers, Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) which represents producers of sound recordings and Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) which represents performers. KECOBO and MPAKE had been enjoined in the Kisumu matter as interested parties.
The judge ordered “That pending the hearing and determination of this Application, the Respondent whether by itself, it’s Agents or servants or otherwise be and is hereby restrained from demanding and collecting royalties for the exploitation of performing and Reproduction rights of Authors (songwriters), Composers, Publishers and Arrangers of copyrighted musical works form users.”
The case will be heard on 8th November 2017.