Three music Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) have lost their licences for failure to meet conditions stipulated in the provisional licenses set out by by Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo)
Kecobo revoked licences for Kenya Association of Music Producers, Performers Rights Society of Kenya and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya.
In a notice, Kecobo claims that out of Sh114 million in royalties collected at the end of July, the trio distributed only Sh41 million instead of Sh79 million, which would be the correct amount to meet the 70 per cent set condition.
“This revocation follows show cause letters issued to CMOs for non-compliance to the licensing conditions specifically breach of administrative cost limit and diversion of royalties into an undeclared account which operations are unmonitored by Kecobo,” read the notice.
The CMOs provisional licenses were to remain valid until May 30, 2021 subject to meeting five conditions.
The conditions included holding an annual general meeting, allocating 70 per cent of revenue for royalty payment and engaging with the Kenya Revenue Authority with a view to reaching a payment plan on tax arrears.
According to the board, by the time they were issuing the conditions, several requirements for the 2020 license period had not been met.
‘‘The board set the conditions on the understanding that rights holders would be relying on royalties collected by CMOs. The decision to deregister them follows letters issued for non-compliance to the licensing conditions, specifically breach of administrative cost limit and diversion of royalties into an undeclared account whose operations are not monitored by Kecobo,” stated the board.
This means the three royalty collecting entities will not be allowed to collect royalties on intellectual works produced by artists for a period of three months until further advised.