Ezekiel Mutua Elated After Uhuru Hands Artistes Win in Royalties Battle

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The law outlines the new revenue sharing formular between the artists and other stakeholders in the creative industry. 

Mutua expressed gratitude to the Head of State for appending his signature to the law that will see artists receive 52 per cent of the proceeds of their work.

Mutua was optimistic that the music industry will finally “be able to generate billionaires” after years of artists receiving the short end of the stick.

“Thank you President Uhuru Kenyatta for the gift to Kenyan musicians. With the signing of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill into law, a new revenue sharing formula tilted in favour of copyright owners comes into place.

“I said there will be billionaires in this industry!” remarked the MCSK boss.

The new law dictates that artists get 52 per cent of the revenue collected on ring back tunes. The remaining 43 per cent will be shared between telecommunication operators and premium rate service providers.

“Section 30(c) of the new Copyright law provides as follows: premium rate service provider shall be entitled to 8.5 per cent, telecommunication operator 39.5 per cent, and the artist or owner of the copyright shall be entitled to not less than 52 per cent of the revenue,” reads the new law.

The law is part of the government’s efforts to safeguard the interests of musicians. In 2021, the Chairperson of the National Assembly Finance Committee, Gladys Wanga, sought to have the copyright law amended to ensure that artists do not continue suffering despite putting in the work.

Wanga argued that artists merely benefitted when their music was downloaded, noting that mobile operators took the majority share.

For the longest time, artists have battled with collective management organisations(CMOs),whom they have accused of underpaying them in royalties.

In March 2021, the government unveiled a new system through which musicians and artists would register and track their royalties. The system would be used for registration of copyright, licensing of music use, royalty management and media monitoring.

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