The Audiovisual Rights Society of Ghana (ARSOG) is set to share over GHc1 million amongst its members across the country.

This is an amount realised from the blank levy imposed by government on importers of recording devices.

The decision to share the amount is one of the outcomes of the annual retreat by the Board of the collection body for filmmakers in Ghana.

According to Richard Prempeh, the Chairman of the board, the amount is what is due them.

He called on other film producers who have not yet registered with ARSOG to do so to enable them receive royalties and also ensure the protection of their works.

The 210 members will receive a total of GHc1,313,372.43 of which GHc1, 280, 714.30 is the blank levy component and GHc32,657.13 is from royalty collections.

Mr Prempeh indicated that later in the year, more money will go to members of the board. He was quick to add that eventually, all players in the industry will receive royalties due them in line with the stipulations of the law in which case not only producers will receive royalties but performers and authors as well.

Explaining the basis for the distribution, Augustine Abbey, aka Idikoko, a board member explained that in all 1,674 movies were used for the distributions for the blank levy.

For the royalty distribution, Idikoko said 1,795 movies benefited. He said the royalties were collected from hotels, transporters and other areas.

As part of efforts to ensure prompt payment by users, ARSOG will arrest and prosecute defaulters to serve as a deterrent to prospective defaulters.

In this regard, ARSOG will be working with the professional associations like the beauticians association, barbers and similar professions and trades where the works of its members are used.

Meanwhile, ARSOG has appointed regional supervisors to ensure that collections in the regions are effectively done and issues regarding ARSOG are adequately addressed.

They are:

Western Region – John Abeiku Sagoe, Yaw Afrifa

Greater Accra – Samuel Odoi Mensah and Richard Quartey

Central Region – Steve Asare Hackman

Volta Region   Mr Socrate Safo

Eastern Region – Ashangbor Akwetey Kanyi

Ashanti – James Aboagye

B. A – Stanley Sackey

Northern Region – Augustine Abbey

Since their appointment, the regional supervisors have all visited and interacted with players in the industry in the various regions.

In a related development, ARSOG has signed MOUs with two organisations, Alsbridge Company Ltd and Big Foot.

The two companies would pay royalties on behalf of transport operators and be responsible for the screening of films on vehicles. They would also pay Producers for the films to be shown.

In addition, the two companies would pay for the registration and annual royalties for the number of buses that would register with them and would be supplied with stickers for these buses to identify them to inspectors from ARSOG. Buses still showing films without the ARSOG sticker in the windscreens would be arrested and prosecuted.

Alsbridge Limited has already made payments for about two hundred buses of the VIP and OA transport groups.