Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Ezekiel Mutua has decried low revenue collection in copyright fees.
Speaking during MCSK Annual General Meeting (AGM), Dr Mutua absolved the state agency from any blame of not paying musicians.
“Sometimes you wonder why there is no money to distribute, it is because there is no collection as people are not paying,” Mutua explained why artists are not getting their dues.
A file image of Matatus parked at a Bus stop in Nairobi County.
File Mutua noted that Matatus play copyrighted music everyday yet they do not pay for copyright licensing fees since 2019.
“The matatu industry cannot operate without music, they play music day and night and we are asking them to pay licensing fees going forward,” the MCSK boss demanded.
Mutua also revealed that Kenyan media industry owes MCSK over Ksh300 million.
“The media industry owes us over Ksh300 million, if they pay us by December we can distribute a lot of money,” Mutua complained.
Mutua promised Kenyan musicians that they will soon start receiving their royalties.
“It is time now to recognize musicians and those who consume copyrighted musical works, we are appealing to you to pay for those works so that we can reward our artists,” he pleaded.
If those playing copyrighted content do not pay licensing fees, Mutua revealed that MCSK will use the police department to make arrests.
“We are asking the police to give us reinforcement as we go after defaulters, it is the work of police department to help us enforce our laws,” Mutua commented addressing the Kenya police.
Matatus in Kenya are supposed to pay between Ksh7000 and KSh36,550 annually depending on passenger capacity.
Commercial TVs in Kenya are supposed to pay Ksh150,000 per month to play copyrighted music while radio stations pay between Ksh200,000 and Ksh700,000 per month depending on frequency scope.
Failure to pay music licensing fee attracts a fine not exceeding Ksh500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or both.
Inside a TV studio.