GHAMRO and GIBA Regularize Relationship
In a short ceremony at the Copyright Office in Accra on Thursday 1st December 2016,the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) and Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) the umbrella body of privately owned broadcasting stations in the country, signed an Agreement on the payment of royalties by GIBA members.
This follows an abortive attempt two weeks ago where the GIBA failed to turn up after several months of negotiation, which led to a temporal stalemate between the organizations.
The Agreement signed by Kojo Antwi, the Board Chairman for GHAMRO and Akwasi Agyemang, President of GIBA was witnessed by the Copyright Administrator of Ghana, Madam Yaa Attafuah,and other executives of both GHAMRO and GIBA, including Ahmed Banda, First Vice-Chairman, Abraham Adjatey, Chief Officer and Jonathan Cudjoe, General manager all of GHAMRO and Gloria Hiadzi Executive Secretary and Chief Crystal, Chairman of the Council of Elders of GIBA.
The parties further agreed on the need for all the broadcasting stations to provide GHAMRO withthe required programme returns of the works broadcast on air to enable GHAMRO identify deserving rights owners to whom payments should be made.
GHAMRO established under Copyright Act 690 of 2005and regulated by Legislative Instrument 1962 of 2010, is the only organization mandated by the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice to license, collect and distribute royalties on behalf of music right holders in Ghana.
According to L.I. 1962, any person who intends to perform the work of an author or cause the work of the author to be performed in public or do any act in respect of work protected under the Copyright Act, shall apply to the appropriate society for a Licence for the performance of the work. This is in fulfilment of rights granted under section 5 of the Act, where the author of protected copyright work has the exclusive economic right in respect of the work to do or authorize the public performance, broadcasting and communication of the work to the public.
In the operations of collective management organizations, broadcasting (radio and television) has been identified as essential music users of musical works which makes them major stake holders in the payment of royalties.
Over the years,GIBA have fostered several collaborative relationships with GHAMRO including agreeing on royalty payment levies and modalities of payment on behalf of its over 200members out of the 400 or so radio and television stations currently on air.
GHAMRO, Pay Before Play
The Ghana Music Rights(GHAMRO) and Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) have finallyMemorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding how members of GIBA should pay music royalties.
The two associations put pen on paper on Thursday, December 1 at the Copyright office to allow members of GIBA use works of musician and pay for the rights at a stipulated time. The agreement was signed weeks after executives of GIBA failed to appear at a press for same purpose which angered the collection rights organisation to take some members of the association to court.
GHAMRO chairman, Kojo Antwi speaking at the signing of the MoU expressed gratitude to executives of GIBA for finally showing up to sign the agreement. He said GHAMRO started suing some media houses after GIBA failed to collect royalties from its members on their behalf. Read more: http://enterghana.com/ghamro-giba-smoke-peace-pipe-finally-signs-mou/
GHAMRO PRESENTS CAR AND MOTORBIKE TO OFFICE IN ASHANTI REGION
Ghana Music rights Organization, GHAMRO has given a new Toyota Corolla car and motorbike to its office in the Ashanti Region. The short ceremony to officially handover the two machines to executives in the Garden City happened on Monday, March 22, 2o16 at the Cultural Center.
The car and motorbike were given to the office to help ease the task of collecting royalties for musicians. Chairman of GHAMRO, Kojo Antwi, presenting the items to the region advised that the car be used for its purpose. He told executives in the region not to use the car for their personal gains because it was not purchased for such a purpose but for the benefit of Ghanaian musicians.
“The fact that it is for GHAMRO means there are some rules that are going to guide it but the rules are going to deal with the nature of our work. We are presenting this car to the office to see changes in the in the organization” Kojo Antwi said.
First Vice Chairman of the association, Ahmed Banda aka Bandex also added that “the fact that the car is in Ashanti Region does not mean its only for this region, it belongs to every GHAMRO member in the country”. Bandex added that the car is monitored to ensure that it is used for its purpose. READMORE : http://livefmghana.com/2016/03/photos-ghamro-presents-car-and-motorbike-to-office-in-ashanti-region/
GHAMRO UNDERTAKES "MEET REGIONAL MEMBER SEMINAR" NATIONWIDE
Ghana Music Rights Organization (Ghamro) has embarked on the ‘’Meet the Regional Member Seminar’’ in a sensitization program nationwide starting from the Western, Central and Ashanti Regions. The program is part of efforts to bring its activities and projections to the doorstep of its members, to share information, discuss the industry and their well-being in general.
The first meeting took place on the 17TH February, 2016 at the Sky Power Hall in Takoradi for the members in the Western and Central Regions and the second meeting took place in Kumasi on the 23rd February, 2016 at the Quashie Idun Hall ,Kumasi cultural centre, where members were briefed on the present structure of the Ghana Music Rights Organization as well as efforts put in place to streamline the licensing of users. Members were also educated on the rights accruing in respect of their creativity.
Speaking at the workshops, the Maestro and Board Chair, Kojo Antwi underlined the reasons for these seminars to include, education, information and sensitization of the music right owner countrywide. The Board Chairman gave hints on some activities of GHAMRO during the past year and the steps the board has taken to put structures in place to generate more revenue in terms of licensing respective commercial music users.
Abraham Adjatey, the chief Officer, threw more light on the structures, during his turn to address the seminar and disclosed, GHAMRO had opened 7 satellite offices nationwide with requisite facilities and also bought 7 motorbikes to beef up the licensing department. The Chief Officer, said GHAMRO had also procured a Nissan Navara pick up for administrative usage and to attend to official meetings with right owners and a Toyota corolla to facilitate the movement of the welfare committee since they made frequent trips to the regions for social visits (home and hospital visits ) and to attend funerals of right owners. The Chief Officer said all the vehicles and motorbikes have been branded GHAMRO, and this will go a long way to enhance the corporate image of the organization.
Mr. Adjatey, also debunked the rumor being spread by musician Akosua Adjepong to the effect that executives of GHAMRO had squandered money belonging to the right owner. He displayed the photocopies of the cheque GHAMRO received from the state and outlined how the money was disbursed.
The 1st Vice- Chairman of GHAMRO ,also in Charge of the Welfare committee, Ahmed Banda popularly known as Bandex disclosed that a new welfare scheme christened ‘AGRIMS ’i.e. Aged Right Owners Monthly Stipends ‘AGRIMS’ had been initiated by GHAMRO to cater for the right owners aged 60 years and above including the physically challenged.
During the question time at the Ashanti regional seminar, right owners expressed dissatisfaction on the recent trend of music downloads by Corporate and private entities and asked what plans GHAMRO had to sanitize and regulate this canker. Chairman Kojo Antwi, said very soon GHAMRO create a business digital platform for music download and take over the business of commercial down loads. He opined that the current situation where Telcos license content providers to source music for them, was not only inappropriate but illegal since GHAMRO is the only organization mandated under the copyright law to license commercial music usage.
Mr .Jonathan Cudjoe, the managing director of GHAMRO and also in charge of licensing and legal affairs hinted right owners of a constitutional amendment and educated members on the need for the amendment which was slated to take place in April, 2016 at the Annual General Meetings of right owners.
The delegation from GHAMRO was led by, The Board Chairman, Kojo Antwi, and his two vices, Ahmed Banda, popularly known as Bandex, and Nana Tuffour. Other board members such as Zapp Mallet, Tic-Tac, Diana Hopeson and others were also present. Rex Omar who is the head of the advisory committee of GHAMRO also attended the seminars.
The next seminar is slated for the Greater Accra Region on the 15th March at the Teachers Hall at the premises of the ministry of Information. Right Owners will be conveyed from the Volta and Eastern regions to attend this seminar alongside the Greater Accra right owners.
THE GHANA MUSIC RIGHTS ORGANIZATION (GHAMRO), ORGANIZED A ONE DAY SEMINAR FOR MUSIC RIGHT OWNERS AND USERS AT THE QUARSHIE IDUN HALL IN KUMASI.
The Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), has said that very soon Ghamro will face out all Telcos in the business of music digital downloads. Kojo Antwi was reacting to concerns made by music right owners in Kumasi on Tuesday 23rd February 2016, at a one day seminar for music right owners and users in and around the Ashanti Region attended by over 300 right owners.
Kojo Antwi, the Board Chairman, intimated that GHAMRO shall soon implement the digital business platform of music downloads to enable GHAMRO control and monitor revenue generated by the downloads so as to be accountable to the music right owners.
He said, currently the situation in practice where agents are licensed by Telcos is not only inappropriate but illegal, since GHAMRO is the only organization mandated under the copyright law to license anybody or organization to use music commercially.
Chairman Kojo Antwi stressed with concern that, these Telcos and their respective agents who source for the music content and act as middlemen, take majority of the money, leaving only a meagre amount for the right owners .
He said if GHAMRO owns the music downloading platform, any person who wants to do business of music downloads will have to come to GHAMRO and finalize the deal.
The Chief Officer, Abraham Adjetey during his speech on the proposed digital platform said, 27 music downloading platforms have been identified so far, but in the mean time, GHAMRO will license these platforms till modalities for the GHAMRO owned music downloading business platform is ready.
Mr. Jonathan Cudjoe, General Manager and also Director in- charge of Licensing and Legal Affairs, disclosed that a proposed constitutional amendment that will align GHAMRO with other international Collective Management Organizations (C. M. O) worldwide. Mr. Cudjoe said the proposed constitutional amendment will be put before the right owners for adoption during the Annual General Meeting in April this year.
The next seminar will be held in the Greater Accra Region very soon and right owners in the Volta and Eastern Regions will be conveyed to Accra to participate.
THE GHANA MUSIC RIGHTS ORGANIZATION (GHAMRO), ORGANIZED A ONE DAY SEMINAR FOR MUSIC RIGHT OWNERS AND USERS AT THE SKY POWER HALL IN TAKORADI.
The Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), organized a one day seminar for music right owners and users at the Sky Power Hall in Takoradi, on the 17th of February 2016. The sensitization programme was attended by over 120 right owners and users from the Central and Western Region as part of drawn by GHAMRO for the year 2016.
The event was graced by the Chairman for GHAMRO, Kojo Antwi and his two Deputies, Ahmed Banda and Nana Tuffour and other GHAMRO Board Members, including Zapp Mallet, Diana Hopeson, Bessa Simons and Rex Omar, Chairman of the advisory committee at GHAMRO.
Also present at the seminar was Abraham Adjetey, the Chief Officer of GHAMRO and Mr. Jonathan Cudjoe, General Manager, and also in charge of Licensing and Legal Affairs, who welcomed the music right owners and thanked them for their support throughout the first year in office.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the General Manager, Jonathan Cudjoe took participants through authors’ rights, collective administration benefits and the need for members to update their records with the organization. He asked some of the users who also participated, particularly the radio stations to honour their obligation and send their program returns to enable GHAMRO effectively pay for the use of music
On his part the Board Chairman, music Maestro Kojo Antwi touched on the reorganization of Ghamro, explaining the need for the structures that have been developed. He briefly informed participants of his recent education tour to Namibia for a WIPO sponsored course in collective administration and asked members to embrace knowledge in the digital platform to build their capacity in the music profession. He also encouraged his colleagues to follow the new policies being implemented by the Board.
In addition, Mr Ahmed Banda detailed the new welfare policies with reference to the implementation of the monthly stipend to members above the 60 years age known as the “AGRIMS”and called on members to update their bio-data.
Abraham Adjetey, Chief Officer of GHAMRO explained the need for musicians and right owners to properly document the participation of other musicians who feature on their works and collaborations, to enable GHAMRO identify the various participants in paying out royalties accordingly.
He further dispelled the allegations of embezzlement leveled against the Board and Management by veteran musician Akosua Adjepong, by displaying and reading out documents which stated how much money was received by GHAMRO as ” blank levy” government subvention last year as GH₵ 1.925 million. This negated the earlier claim by some disgruntled right owners that over 19 million was received by GHAMRO from government as blank levy and that the non availability of royalty distribution in December, 2016 was a deliberate act of the part of the Board and management of GHAMRO.
The Chief Officer also shed some light on some activities of GHAMRO since the new board took over the reins of administration in February 2015. He intimated that, 8 regional satellite offices had been opened to decentralize the system of Administration at GHAMRO.
According to Abraham Adjetey, GHAMRO had procured a Nissan Navara pick- up at the cost of Ghc 78,000.00 and recently, a Toyota Corolla for the welfare committee, which was at the port awaiting clearance.
He further disclosed that the Toyota Sequoia bought by Carlos Sakyi, the former board chairman at a cost of Ghc 55,000.00 had been parked at the office of Economic and organized Crime Office (EOCO) since management realized that the vehicle had a fake registration number plate. Mr. Adjetey said, investigations conducted by EOCO suggested that the car’s import duty was not paid hence the fraudulent number plate. The car has since been duly registered by Ghamro and is still parked at the offices of EOCO pending the conclusion of investigations into the matter.
The next seminar will be held in Kumasi on the 23rd February, 2016.
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