MCSK Opposes Copyright Amendment Sections In The Statute Law ( Miscelenious Amendment) Bill, 2022

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Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MSCK) has decried the the existence of a punitive section of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The bill introduces fundamental changes to the Kenya Copyright Act, with fundamental and far reaching implications on the copyright industry in Kenya.

The Bill seeks to, among other things, introduce sweeping legislative changes to the operations of Collective Management Organizations in general and MCSK in particular.

Addressing the press in Nairobi on Tuesday, MCSK CEO Ezekiel Mutua noted that the bill is punitive and should be done away with.

“It should be noted that only two months ago, the President signed into law the Kenya Copyright Amendment Bill that restructured the revenue share formula for monies accruing from ring back tunes, otherwise known as Skiza tunes, from 16% to 52% in favor of artists,” he said.

The CEO added, “It’s therefore shocking to see that the Kenya Copyright Board would have the audacity to sneak obnoxious clauses with far reaching changes on the industry in the guise of Miscellaneous Amendment only two months after the President signed the Copyright Amendment Bill 2021 into law,”.

He explained that notwithstanding, the Cabinet two weeks ago approved the Intellectual Property Bill thus paving way into a new law that will merge the Kenya Copyright Board with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute to create one regulatory body.

Additionally, KECOBO has published proposed regulations on Copyright registration that run counter to the constitution of Kenya which recognises Copyright as an automatic right that requires no registration or payment to be recognized.

The said regulations are also an affront to the Bern Convention and other international conventions to which Kenya is a signatory.

It must be noted that both the provisions of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill 2022 on copyright management and the regulations proposed by KECOBO touch on an ongoing case between the Music Copyright Society of Kenya and the Copyright Board. 

We therefore view the proposed amendments as a hare-brained scheme by KECOBO to undermine the case in court through the back door.

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya would like state that the proposed Amendments are unacceptable and will be resisted with the force of law.

The MCSK will be moving to court to stop the provisions of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill 2022 on copyright unless the said copyright changes are shelved in total.

We are deeply concerned with KECOBO’s obsession with management of CMOs and its lack of foresight and decency in dealing with such an important sector as Copyright.

There’s no other sector which has witnessed these kind of legislative chaos and insidious behavior by a regulator. No other industry has had its laws amended in a period of two months and KECOBO’s malicious actions amount to sabotage of the industry growth.

The MCSK will be mobilizing like minded stakeholders to petition the President for the disbandment of KECOBO and will use all the legal instruments and means at our disposal to stop these ill-informed changes.

To the end, the Board has petitioned the Clerk of the National Assembly to withdraw from the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) 2022 all the sections touching on Copyright to allow further industry consultations and also to await the publication of the Intellectual Property Bill which has already gone through Cabinet.

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