GHAMRO Membership Categories
Outlines the different requirements for Full, Associate and Provisional Membership of GHAMRO and the rights assigned to members in each category
GHAMRO Membership Admission Requirements
Admission requirements for both author and publisher members and details termination of membership Successors to Deceased Members
How to become the successor to a deceased member
Section A - Membership
(1) (2) After 1 year's provisional membership aggregate earnings of Ghs.1,000 (author/composer) and Ghs.2,000 (publisher) over a period not exceeding three continuous years.(3) After 1 year's membership aggregate earnings of Ghs.2,000 (author) and Ghs.5,000 (publisher) over a period not exceeding three continuous years. Rights (i) Receive Report & Accounts (ii) Attend General Meetings (iii) 1 vote on a show of hands or on a postal ballot (i) Receive Report & Accounts (ii) Attend General Meetings (iii) Eligible to nominate or be nominated to Board (iv) 1 vote on a show of hands or 10 votes on a poll or postal ballot (i) Receive Report & Accounts (ii) Attend General meetings (iii) Eligible to nominate or be nominated to Board (iv) 1 vote on a show of hands: 50 votes on a poll or postal ballot plus 50 additional votes if either of the under-noted criteria is fulfilled (3) (5).
1. Discretion is retained by the Board of Directors to elect below the criteria in appropriate circumstances.
2. Promotions to Full and Associate membership are automatic. After the end of each financial year, members' earnings are examined to determine those who qualify for promotion. They are then notified of their new member status. The new status is not lost by any subsequent decline in GHAMRO earnings below the level of current criteria.
3. Successors to deceased members are eligible for promotion to Full membership if they meet the same earnings criteria as publisher members. However, successors are not eligible for appointment to the Board of Directors, nor are they entitled to the fifty additional votes on a poll or postal ballot (note 5) unless also qualifying for Full membership as an author or publisher in their own right.
4. The earnings criteria shown above are for promotions from 2011 onwards. They will be reviewed every five years.
Minimum criteria for additional FULL MEMBER VOTES
5. To qualify for additional Full Member Votes, a member must have aggregate GHAMRO earnings of 10 times the full membership criterion as at the preceding
31st December, during the 20 years or less up to the preceding 31st December. The earnings required are Ghs.2,000 (author) and Ghs.5,000 (publisher).
The criteria governing admission to Provisional membership of GHAMRO are as follows:
Songwriters, Composers, Lyricists and Arrangers of Public Domain Music, qualify for membership of GHAMRO one of their works has been either:-
a) commercially recorded (i.e. not a demo), or
b) broadcast on TV or Radio within the past two years, or
c) performed in public on at least 12 occasions within the past two years.
Each applicant must also submit proof of identity. A copy of the applicant’s birth certificate is normally sufficient and a reference from an existing GHAMRO member.
Applicants must also sign and return the Deed of Assignment issued to them at the time of their application.
In order to qualify for GHAMRO membership a music publisher must have a catalogue of at least 15 works all of which have been commercially published or commercially recorded. In addition:-
a) The authors of the 15 qualifying works must be members of GHAMRO, or of one of its affiliated societies.
b) The publisher must have acquired rights in at least 5 of the works for a territory within the previous year.
A copy of the recordings or of the sheet music must be submitted in support of the application for the qualifying 15 works. Copies of all assignments between the applicant and the authors in respect of the works concerned must also be supplied. A sheet of the publisher’s headed notepaper should be provided.
- Individual applicants must also submit a copy of their birth certificate
- Partnerships must provide a copy of the partnership agreement
- Limited companies must provide a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Articles of Association
There is GHs.50 fee for GHAMRO membership for either author/composer or GHs.400 publisher applicants.
The following definitions apply to the admission criteria:
· 'Broadcast' means transmission by a television or radio broadcasting station and/or inclusion in a cable programme.
· 'Film', which includes videograms (whether in the form of cassettes or discs) as well as cinematograph films as defined by the Copyright Act 690.
· 'Commercially published' means:
· made available to the public by sale or hire in graphic (sheet music) form
'Commercially recorded' means:
i. the work has been released to the public on a record label, or
ii. the work has been recorded and made available to the public by inclusion in a catalogue of a recorded music (e.g. background or mood music) library, or
iii. the work has been recorded and transmitted by a television or radio broadcasting station or included in a cable programme, or
iv. the work has been recorded on the soundtrack of a film which has been released for public exploitation.
Termination of Membership
Provisional and Associate author membership may be terminated if no royalties at all are credited to the author over a five year period. Provisional publisher members whose royalties have not exceeded an aggregate of Ghs.500 over five years may also be terminated.
Successors to Deceased Members
Copyright in musical works lasts for the lifetime of the author (or in the case of co-written works, the lifetime of the last surviving contributor) and for 70 years following their death. On the death of a member, GHAMRO should be notified as soon as possible so that it can be established to whom future royalties should be paid. Under the company’s Articles of Association membership of GHAMRO ceases upon death. Will continue to pay royalties to the deceased members' next of kin until December 31st of the seventh year following their death, or until a successor member is admitted, whichever is the earlier.
GHAMRO will admit to Successor membership persons eligible under the Articles of Association. Admission is carried out in such a way as to cause the royalties to be paid in accordance with the will or operation of law. Whatever arrangements are made, GHAMRO is strictly accountable to pay royalties to the executors in the first instance and then to the Successor member, if one is elected. If the deceased does not leave a will, the law prescribes who is to inherit his or her assets, including royalty payments from GHAMRO. GHAMRO is bound by the law. Therefore, in the absence of a valid will all royalties will be paid to those legally entitled.
The legal charges for making a will are quite small, and GHAMRO strongly advises that members make a will and recommend that a solicitor should be consulted as this is not always a straightforward process. Successors to Provisional members are initially admitted to Provisional membership, whereas Successors to Associate or Full members are admitted to Associate membership (unless in the case of a deceased Full member the royalties over the last three years had fulfilled the criteria for Full Publisher membership). Once elected, Provisional Successor members are promoted to Associate membership status under the same criteria as living Author members, and Associate Successor members are promoted to Full membership status in accordance with the criteria for Publisher members.
Unless a Successor member is elected, GHAMRO's control of the rights in unpublished works will cease upon the expiry of the seven year period following the death of the last surviving interested party in the works. As regards published works, payment to the publishers will normally continue after the expiry of the seven year period, and include the former Author share. The executors of the last member would no longer be entitled to receive that Author share direct.
In conclusion, members should ensure that they have made a valid will specifically bequeathing their royalties (if appropriate), and to also include that a direction is given to close family and/or legal advisors to notify GHAMRO immediately after their death so that the above procedures can be put into effect swiftly.