Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has floated claims that the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) board is planning to extend its term limit.
In a statement, Kuria said the board, which has been in office for the last six years, is set to hold a special general meeting on Friday in a bid to extend their term.
"Music Copyright Society of Kenya Board has been in office for the last 6 years. They want to extend their term irregularly in a Specia General Meeting on Friday 16th. This is simply not acceptable and it will not pass. Even stealing has a term limit," Kuria stated.
This comes a day after the CS announced that the government is spearheading amendments to the Copyright Act to create a government-run Collective Management Organisation.
According to Kuria, if the amendments sail through, all music, copyrights and royalties will be paid through e-Citizen.
"The government is spearheading amendments to the Copyright Act to create a government-run Collective Management Organisation. All music, copyrights and royalties will be paid through E-Citizen. Our artists will be individually registered. They can view online how much money is collected. Siku 40 za wezi wa jasho ya artists zimeisha," Kuria stated.
MCSK CEO responds to Kuria
MCSK CEO Ezekiel Mutua faulted Kuria over the announcement, saying the government's role is to create a conducive environment for CMOs to thrive.
Mutua said that since Kenya is a signatory to an international convention that guarantees CMOs the right to operate without state interference, the proposal by Kuria is not viable.
"The practice world over in respect to royalties management is for the Government to create a conducive environment for CMOs to thrive. The Govt cannot interfere with a private right. Kenya is a signatory to the WIPO convention and the principles of WIPO do not allow Government interference with the running of CMOs," Mutua stated.
"MCSK is monitoring the developments including the ongoing Amendment to the Copyright Act and will give our proposals on how we can collaborate with the Government to make music business more profitable and respectable."
CMOs in Kenya
Currently, there are five licenced CMOs in Kenya including the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), The Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN) and Performance Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).