Uhuru: ViuSasa to stop collecting money on behalf of entertainers

By Susan Kogi On Tue, 14 Jan, 2020 12:45 | 2 mins read
The president said the Kenya Copyright Board, under direction of the ICT Ministry, has already worked on the tariffs for 2020. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
The president said the Kenya Copyright Board, under direction of the ICT Ministry, has already worked on the tariffs for 2020. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
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    The president said the Kenya Copyright Board, under direction of the ICT Ministry, has already worked on the tariffs for 2020.

Viusasa and Skiza are among the content service providers that will cease collecting revenues on behalf of entertainers after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced new measures on Tuesday that, according to the Head of State, will ensure artists earn adequately from their artistic works.

The President, who addressed the Nation from State House, Mombasa, said artists play an important role in the growth of the country’s economy, and, therefore, their input should be captured in a transparent and easily-referable manner.

President Kenyatta said an agreement was reached on December 20, 2019 that all artists’ revenue collection should be done by one agency mandated to pay the entertainers their dues after pooling all royalties.

In a bid to streamline the revenue collection channel, the Head of State said alternative platforms collecting revenues on behalf of artists, at the same time making money for providing avenues for the entertainers’ works to be consumed, will be discontinued.

“The current sector-structure, which comprises of content service providers who work with digital platforms such as Skiza and ViuSasa, will be eliminated, [and], this is because they sit outside collection-management. My practical direction is to have all the rights-holders register with the National Rights Registry to receive royalties,” said President Kenyatta.

“Content service providers will be required to channel all payments of royalties through a single centrally-managed account at the national copyright board, and this will enable oversight by the regulator, and ensure that collection and distribution accounts are easily auditable,” said the Head of State.

The president said the Kenya Copyright Board, under direction of the ICT Ministry, has already worked on the tariffs for 2020.

“I direct the Ministry of ICT in consultation with the Attorney General’s office to ensure that this new tariff structure is gazetted within the next 30 days,” said President Kenyatta.

“I [further] direct the Ministry to remove conditions requiring digital platforms to only work through licensed content service providers.”

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