Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has registered a new collective management organisation (CMO) to collect license fees and distribute royalties on behalf of authors, composers and publishers of musical works. The registration is for the normal statutory period of one year from March 2017 to February 2018. According to KECOBO, the new CMO, Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), had satisfied the requirements of Section 46 of the Copyright Act, 2001 and Regulation 15 and 16 of the Copyright Regulations, 2004.
In doing so, KECOBO upheld its February 2017 decision to decline the application for renewal of registration as a collecting society filed by Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), MPAKE’s predecessor and the oldest CMO in Kenya. According to KECOBO, MCSK failed to produce its latest audited financial statements for the year ending June 2016, declare the amount of royalties collected and provide a list of its members.
Alongside MPAKE, KECOBO also reviewed an application by another new applicant, the National Music Copyright Society of Kenya Limited (NAMCOS), but declined to approve its application noting that it had failed to demonstrate its capacity to collect royalties if registered.
In a recent press statement, MPAKE vowed to represent and safeguard the rights of music publishers, authors and composers in Kenya and other rights holders from other parts of the world by way of bilateral/reciprocal agreements with their respective countries.
The leadership of MPAKE includes musicians such as Stella Mengeles, Amileena Mwenesi, Dan Aceda, Linda Muthama, Calvin Kirimba, Lilian Mibei, Njeri Njesh, Sara Nanaa, Edward Irungu Randalson as well as music publishers Mike Strano of PHAT! Music and Entertainment, Pacho Studio co-owner Bernard Kioko and Judy Wambui Karara who is involved in international catalogue publishing. The team also includes Arthur K who has many years of experience in music industry management.
The statement by MPAKE also reads:
“In conjunction with our counterparts PRISK and KAMP mandated with safeguarding the rights of music performers and producers, we seek to forge an agreement to facilitate joint licensing (…) We are keen on fostering inclusivity and are currently in the process of co-opting representatives of the Kenya Musicians Union, made up of eight regional musicians’ associations. (…) MPAKE welcomes any and all members from any societies, previous or incumbent, to sign up as members of MPAKE”