Creatives association moves to effect new government regulations


Kamp members Ad Hoc committee during an extraordinary meeting in Nairobi's Westlands. April 22, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya Association of Music Producers (Kamp) has now moved to effect new government regulations pertaining the collection and distribution of creatives’ royalties.

This comes two weeks after Kamp announced it would be distributing Sh17 million to members as royalties payment for the 2024 first quarter.

The move comes barely two months after the government regulator on copyright and related issues, the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo), called for a new collective management dispensation that will ensure improved performance, cutting of costs, and promotion of transparency in how creatives royalties are managed.

It will see the replacement of the Copyright Act through the draft Copyright and Related Rights Bill, 2023, which is awaiting Cabinet approval.

Speaking during the meeting held in Nairobi, the Kamp Chairperson Angela Ndambuki said the association will align with the government in providing structural guidance on the way forward about the Copyright and Related Rights Bill amendments.

Together with the Kamp board, she also unveiled a 12-member Ad Hoc committee that will address issues on the new collective management dispensation and provide structural guidance in alignment with the requirements of the Copyright Act.

“Under the leadership of the board of directors, the committee will engage in in-depth discussions and deliberations on matters related to the new dispensation. This includes amendments to the memorandum and articles of association of KAMP to ensure effective management of all rights within the creative sector. confidence in the committee members and their ability to fulfill the objectives within the designated timeframe. Their dedication, expertise, and collaborative efforts are expected to yield fruitful discussions and outcomes throughout the committee's term that runs for three months,” Angela said during the meeting also attended by Kamp Vice Chairman Geoffrey Kwatemba and CEO Maurice Okoth.

From left- KAMP Vice Chairperson Geoffrey Kwatemba, Chairperson Angela Ndambuki KAMP, and Maurice Okoth CEO of KAMP the meeting [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The committee members include Japheth Kasanga of Kassanga Music Centre (KMC), Lee Kanyottu of Studio Sawa Sound, Eric Musyoka of Decimal Media, Anthony Karani Murimi of Times Square Entertainment and Justus Ngemu of Ngemu Gospel Sounds.

Others are Lilian Chepkorir Rotich, Crispus Wachira, George Ouma Odhiambo, Bernard Mukaisi, Eunice Muli, Elizabeth Nyambura and George Wahome.

The action by Kamp is the first clear move by the leading creatives associations to review their operational structures with the government pushing an end of the era of multiple creatives royalties entities.

It will see all creatives in music, publishing, visual art, and film among others be handled from one collective management space. The other related associations are the Music Copyright Association of Kenya (MCSK) and the Performers Rights Association of Kenya (PRISK).

Since the announcement of the new proposed regulations, there has been friction between Kecobo and a section of the CMOs whose leadership has been resistant to the changes arguing they would interfere with the associations’ freedoms. 

This new collective management system could bring to an end the perceived differences between CMOs and the government regulator, Kecobo, the latter having edged consistent blame on some CMOs for lack of transparency in accounting for millions collected on behalf of creatives.

In a multi-billion creative economy, last year, Kamp was reported to have accounted for Sh53 million. According to a Kecobo report released in February, the three CMOs collected Sh249 million, jointly, last year.

“There was a disparity in amounts declared by MCSK and those declared by KAMP and PRISK for 2023 joint collection. While KAMP and PRISK declared a collection of Sh249 million and they accounted for Sh61 million and Sh52.7 million, respectively, MCSK on its part declared receipts of Sh109 million representing a shortfall of Sh26 million,” the report had it.

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