News that the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) had declined to renew the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) license was greeted with excitement, disbelief and, in some cases, confusion among its members.
MCSK image had been badly bruised following back to back accusations of exploitation by artists who accused the giant Collective Management Organization (CMO) of paying them peanuts in royalties while making millions from their sweat.
KECOBO decision to halt any operations of MCSK was largely based on the opaqueness of their operations.
The regulator is now inviting artists to actively participate in CMOs regulations consultative meetings across the country. The first such forum was held in Nairobi on February 22, 2017 at the Louis Leakey Auditorium, Museums.
KECOBO heads to Eldoret and Kisumu for a similar forum and by the comments made on social media their work seems cut out.
Kisumu hip hop bigwig, Gabiro Mtu Necessary, is of the opinion of that all CMOs licenses should first be revoked and vetted afresh.
“The existing CMOs are exploitative and only give artists remnants. The sharks that own these CMOs drive top of the range machines while most artists hustle for fare. Why should I make less than 20 percent while the rest goes to CMOs”, Gabiro posed.
Machakos based artist MC Bob is of the view of having a CMO put the interest of Kenyans first.
“What we need is another CMO that takes the interests of artists at heart. KECOBO should only allow CMOs that divide from public performances equally among the artists and not favoring a select few with huge percentages”, the artist told this writer.
Secular turned gospel artist Lady Nanaa questioned KECOBO rationale of selecting only Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret , Mombasa and Isiolo.
“Why leave out Machakos county and it’s the entertainment hub of Kenya?”
She went on to say a forum should be provided for artists in Machakos to give their input on CMOs regulations.
The forum will be held in Eldoret on 23rd Feb 2017 Ndupawa Guest House and Kisumu 28th Feb 2017 Jumuia Hotel.