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PRISK Newsletter, July 2017

A Word from Our CEO

Dear Member,

I am delighted to present to you the progress of Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) through this second issue of our biannual newsletter.

We started off with spearheading the process of developing a regulatory framework dubbed the Collective Management Organizations (CMO) Regulations for the collective management industry. For the longest time there was no regulation that guided the promotion of the values of Transparency, Accountability and Governance in the industry. The outcome is of this regulation shall definitely improve the operations of CMOs through enhanced supervisory structures.

The gazettment of new tariffs by the Attorney General was a clear indication that the industry is headed in the right direction. This meant that CMOs can now commence issuing a joint license to the users of sound recordings and audio-visual works. With the proper laid down licensing structures by PRISK with the sister CMO, KAMP, and the author society, we are looking into more collections, less operational costs hence more distributable revenue to the artistes

Further, the Skiza Interpretation ruling by the High Court in Malindi was a big win for the artistes in the country. This reverted the right back to the artistes meaning they can now resume receiving their Skiza royalties through the CMOs. As PRISK we remain committed to giving the rightful share to artistes as was evidenced in our last year’s Skiza distributions before the November ruling that prevented further payments by Safaricom to the CMOs. 

We are already at a 22M surplus at half year compared to 9M same time last year against a budget of 16M. This is against the 18M surplus of the full year last year.

 

We have also conducted several online campaigns geared towards reaching out to potential members and users of sound recordings and audio-visual works. I encourage you to follow our various social media pages to engage in the conversations and opportunities that we put up from time to time.

I appreciate you taking time to read our newsletter as I look forward to see you at the Annual General Meeting on 28th September, 2017. I wish you a peaceful election period.

Good reading!

Sincerely Yours,

Angela Ndambuki,

CEO

 

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Editor’s Note

I am honoured to bring you the second biannual Newsletter, Sanaa, the goal of which is to provide our stakeholders with a succinct yet inclusive picture of all the news mid-year. I to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to this second edition of the newsletter. Please feel free to bring any suggestions, comments and news stories to my attention for future editions.

Warm regards and easy reading,

 

Donna Macharia

Marketing & PR Executive

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Regulatory framework on Collective Management Organizations.

We started the year with spearheading the process of developing a regulatory framework dubbed the Collective Management Organizations (CMO) Regulations for the collective management industry. For the longest time there was no regulation that guided the promotion of the values of Transparency, Accountability and Governance in the industry. The outcome is of this regulation shall definitely improve the operations of CMOs through enhanced supervisory structures.

PRISK alongside other CMOs guided by the oversight body, KECOBO, set out to engage key stakeholders in the industry across the country through interactive forums. This public participation was geared towards collecting views that will also form part of the final regulations.

The main objective is to set in place statutory parameters and standards for assessing the performance of CMOs as well as conditions and procedures under which a CMO can be put to task to prove its commitment to upholding the required standards of service delivery to its members/rights owners.

This will consequently increase licensing activities since industry is expected to register greater levels of confidence in the operations of CMOs; consequently, rightsholders shall get more royalties from the CMOs. Find out more via this link and get your copy of the draft CMO Regulations: http://www.cmoregulations.or.ke/ 

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The Skiza Big Win for artistes

The ruling on the Skiza interpretation by the High Court in Malindi was a big win for the artistes in the country. This means that artistes can now choose the platform through which they will receive their Skiza royalties; the Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) or the Content Service Providers (CSPs).

Justice Chitembwe's ruling was a clarification of his Orders in Petition No. 5 of 2016 in which Safaricom had construed the Orders to mean that all Skiza royalties are to be paid through the CSPs/PRSPs

However, the effect of the Court of Appeal Skiza Interpretation is as follows:

a)       That artistes shall have the right to receive their royalties through channels of their choice. Artists who wish to be paid through the CMOs shall have the liberty to do so and Safaricom shall be under obligation to honour their wishes.

b)       Those who wish to be paid through other channels likewise shall have the liberty to do so.

This decision by the Court of Appeal, marks the turning point of the music industry in Kenya leaving the artiste to make a choice based on the best service provider.

As PRISK we remain committed to giving the rightful share to artistes as was evidenced in our last year’s Skiza distributions before the November ruling that prevented further payments by Safaricom to the CMOs.

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New Tariffs Gazetted by the Attorney General

The gazettement of the new tariffs by the Attorney General in April, 2017 was welcome news by the Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) and the industry in general. These new tariffs are a clear reflection of the numerous efforts by the CMOs alongside the regulatory body, Kenya Copy Right Board (KECOBO) and other stakeholders to pursue a joint licensing system.

This is a journey that begun over two years ago with deliberations between the CMOs and other stakeholders in the industry.

However, the implementation of the joint tariff hit a deadlock following the Conservatory Orders staying/temporarily stopping implementation of the decision of Kenya Copyright Board of 27th March 2017 approving the license of Music Publishers Association of Kenya and revoking the license of Music Copyright Society of Kenya – MCSK.

However, we thank the licensees especially the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry that has shown tremendous support to PRISK, alongside KAMP and Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE) for supporting their activities together with other users ensuring that rights of producer, performers, authors and composers are upheld despite the confusion. It is our hope that this confusion will soon seize and we can finally issue one tripartite license as we have hoped for a long time now.

Joint licensing is a major relief for the users of sound recordings and audio-visual works that will now ensure uniformity while doing their businesses by not being asked to pay three different bodies on nearly the same commodity.

With a robust and professional network across the country, we are now looking into increasing the collection base by more than 50% in order to distribute more royalties.

We remain committed to implementing the new joint licensing tariffs. However, just like in every new system, there will be a transition period in order to integrate the new licensing system to ensure that everyone is compliant. Click link to view the New Gazetted Joint Tariffs 2017: http://www.prisk.or.ke/index.php/en/docman/documents/10-new-joined-tariffs-2017/file 

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Musicians’ Uncollected Royalties at PRISK

Musicians across the country have been urged by the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) to turn up and collect their pending royalty payments since the timeframe set to distribute these uncollected royalties is soon to expire.

PRISK, through a Public Notice, April 10, 2017, stated in part, “…PRISK hereby advises that it currently holds KES 13,520798.00 in uncollected royalty payments for the distribution periods 2013, 2014 and 2015 for musicians whose recordings were in the Society’s system and monitored for airplay...”

Further, PRISK stated that, according to the Society’s Distribution Rules, “all royalty payments not collected within a period of three (3) years from the date of distribution shall be transferred to the Social and Cultural Fund.” Hence, pending royalty payments from the 2013 distribution year shall therefore not be available for collection from September 2017. Although, quite a number of musicians, who are yet to register for membership, have turned up, there still remains a substantial number who are yet to collect their royalty payments. 

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Matatu Owners Association Negotiations

A major challenge this year has been collecting of license fees from the transport sector. As a result, PRISK, alongside the sister CMOs, KAMP and MPAKE, initiated negotiations with Matatu Owners Association in order to resolve the deadlock. Topping the list of issues raised was the tariffs that had been gazetted by the Attorney General in April this year.

These stakeholder engagements that were also mediated by KECOBO and representatives from the Attorney General’s office resulted to downward scaling of the tariffs with the sector being classified into four clusters: 14-Seater, 15-37 Seater, 38-55 Seater, Buses above 50 Seater.

We are now awaiting the gazettement of the revised tariffs by KECOBO as we embark on licensing of the sector.

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Broadcasters Negotiations

Licensing fo broaddcasters has been a spill over matter from 2015. It was actuated by the continued resistance by majority of the broadcasters and especially the major ones to remit license fee for use of rights owners works in their broadcasting activities. The broadcasters are currently holding in excess of five hundred million in royalties accruing for Producers and Performers claimed for the period running from the year 2010 to the date of commencement of proceedings. As a result, the respective Boards of PRISK and its partner CMOs KAMP and MPAKE, unanimously passed a resolution to escalate the dispute to the Courts with the five major broadcasters i.e KBC,Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group, Standard Media Group and Media Max Limited as the defendants.

Upon commencement, the CMOs succesfully obtained an order barring the broadcasters from utilizing the works of their respective rightsowners without express prior authorization.The matter however dragged preliminarily due to an application filed by the Broadcasters challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to adjudicate the dispute.

The Court did finally dismissed the application challenging its jurisdiction citing lack of merit as the reason and affirming that it had jurisdiction to entertain the dispute.Consequently, the applicants(broadcasters) were directed to bear the cost of the application. Further, it was directed that the parties proceed to a Court annexed mediation process in a bid to resolve the dispute.

 

 Thank you for reading our e-Newsletter.

 

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