GHAMRO takes new steps to collect royalties from media organizations

GHAMRO takes new steps to collect royalties from media organizations
Source: Ghana | Luv Fm | Prince Appiah
Date: 18-09-2015 Time: 07:09:43:pm
Kojo Antwi addressing Kumasi session

The Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) is dialoguing with media organizations to pay musical royalties.

Under the exercise, media organizations must apply for a license to enable them use music on their networks.

The license which will last for a year will attract sanctions if not renewed two months after it expires.

The Copyright Law ( 2005, ACT 690) stipulates that such a person can be convicted to spend a period not less than six months or pay a fine of not less than 500 penalty units-a penalty unit is 12 Ghana Cedis.

The move is part of measures to strengthen the economic power of musicians and sustain creativity in the music industry.

Legal Administrator for GHAMRO, Jonathan Kudjoe says broadcasting stations must regularize their use of music for both local and foreign artists.

“If you intend to use music or cause a music to be used in public you have to pay or apply to GHAMRO for a license to use the work,” he said.

Radio and television amounts to 50 per cent of total revenue generated in the copyright industry.

The tariffs will be charged on the number of hours the media organization plays the music.

Signature tunes and commercials will all attract the royalty payment.

“Once you take a license from GHAMRO, you are covered from anybody who may come to you and say you are using my work without a license,” Mr. Kudjoe said.

GHAMRO is engaging the media in a two part sensitization workshop in Kumasi and Accra to intensify the collection of music royalties.

Chairman of GHAMRO, Kwadwo Antwi, explains because the media as an institution that uses music, hence the need for the engagement.

The Board has been in office for just about eight months but has increased the payment of royalties to deserving musicians.

“Radio stations for years have been reaping the rights of musicians because you play our songs and don’t pay,” he said.

The workshop was organized by the Copyright Office, the Ministry of Justice and GHAMRO.

It serves as part of efforts in educating broadcasting stations on the new copyright ACT 2005, ACT 690 and the accompanying regulation, LI 1962 of 2010.

Meanwhile, the Maestro as he is affectionately called expressed worry at manner radio presenters select their songs for radio programs.

“Presenters are presenting like in the clubs, if your music do not mix with the next music, then your song is not good,” Kojo said. “The trend we are going is dangerous”.