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Musicians getting less money due to piracy-GHAMRO laments

Written by  Oct 07, 2018
Public Relations Officer (CEO) for the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), Prince Tseegah, has said, musicians received less in royalties’ distribution because the rights organisation less amountr of money in royalties. He told GH Entertainment on Saturday that GHAMRO is unable to collect enough due to the increasing rate of piracy. This unlawful act denies the right owners of the appropriate income expected from the sale of their works, he lamented. He indicated that although the Cpoyright Law prevents people from reproducing the works of musicians, it does not capture pen drives and other storage devices hence the need for them to consult the Attorney General to make changes to the law to capture that. He said, music pirates have adopted the use of laptop and desktop computers to download both local and foreign music on pen drives, and other devices in order for them to sell same. Per the law, any person or organisation that uses music commercially in the form of downloading , or generating any form of benefit from music digitally must apply to GHAMRO for a license in order to be legitimate. Failure to get a license contravenes Act 690 section 42 of the Copyright Law 2005 and is punishable under section 43, to a term of imprisonment of not more than 3 years or a fine or both. Some radio stations in the country he said are not paying their royalties and we have sued some of these stations. The software to monitor radio stations he disclosed is expensive and priced at $1 million and from the resources we have, we would not be able to buy it. We will appeal to the president to remember the promise he gave musicians and his quest to protect our works. He admonished members of GHAMRO to support leadership to manage the piracy in the system in order to help protect their intellectual property. GHAMRO started the distribution of royalties for June-July from September 24 despite the delays in the blank levy. A press release signed by the PRO, Prince Tsegah, noted that the Blank Levy expected from government has not been paid. But the statement said it found it necessary to distribute royalties accruing from Collections rather than waiting for the Blank Levy. ‘’ The Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) wishes to inform its esteemed members that the distribution of royalties would start from Monday, 24th September 2018, this decision has become necessary due to the delay in the release of blank levy due to the Society from the Government of Ghana. As you are already aware, GHAMRO conducts its distribution twice in June –July and December of each year with the Blank Levy used for the June distribution whilst the collections used for the December distribution. Given however the current situations where the Blank Levy has unexpectedly delayed, and considering the burden it has placed on members, a decision has been reached to immediately disburse collections so far made to assist members. It is important, however, that members would kindly take note that since the collections are ongoing and the amount of ¢500,000 to be distributed is just part of collections made, the due payments to members would be low as compared to previous distributions,’’ the statement read.

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