IMPLICATIONS OF LATEST COURT DECISION ON SKIZA PAYMENTS

Our attention is drawn to the November 1 judgment delivered by the Malindi High Court, regarding Constitutional Petition Number 5 of 2016, filed by Mercy Munee Kingoo and Lydia Nyiva Kingai.

Among the various findings made by the Malindi High Court is the declaration that Section 30A is unconstitutional as it limits the manner in which artist royalties are paid.

This section enabled Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) such as Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Music Producers and the Performance Rights Organisation of Kenya (PRSK) to collect royalties on behalf of artists.

The ruling also directs that Safaricom pay all royalties from Skiza – our music download platform- directly to Content Service Providers (CSPs).

The new directive contradicts an earlier judgment delivered by the Nairobi High Court on 11th May 2016 under petition number 317 of 2015.

In that judgment, the Nairobi High Court directed that we pay artists’ royalties through the CMOs, effectively affirming Section 30A.

In compliance with the Nairobi High Court directive, and following various consultations with industry stakeholders, in July we entered into an agreement with the CMOs to pay the artists.

To date under this Agreement, we have paid out over sh325miliion.

We will abide by the Malindi High Court directive, as it is the latest High Court position on this matter.

However we ask that all the parties involved in this dispute – the artists, CMOs and CSPs – to seek clarity on the matter and settle on a payment structure amicable to all.

On our part, we remain committed to work with all industry stakeholders.

Our hope is that progressive gains made so far for artists will continue to lead to the desired reforms and harmonization of the industry for the benefit of all stakeholders

Bob Collymore

Chief Executive Officer

Our attention is drawn to the November 1 judgment delivered by the Malindi High Court, regarding Constitutional Petition Number 5 of 2016, filed by Mercy Munee Kingoo and Lydia Nyiva Kingai.

Among the various findings made by the Malindi High Court is the declaration that Section 30A is unconstitutional as it limits the manner in which artist royalties are paid.

This section enabled Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) such as Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Music Producers and the Performance Rights Organisation of Kenya (PRSK) to collect royalties on behalf of artists.

The ruling also directs that Safaricom pay all royalties from Skiza – our music download platform- directly to Content Service Providers (CSPs).

The new directive contradicts an earlier judgment delivered by the Nairobi High Court on 11th May 2016 under petition number 317 of 2015.

In that judgment, the Nairobi High Court directed that we pay artists’ royalties through the CMOs, effectively affirming Section 30A.

In compliance with the Nairobi High Court directive, and following various consultations with industry stakeholders, in July we entered into an agreement with the CMOs to pay the artists.

To date under this Agreement, we have paid out over sh325miliion.

We will abide by the Malindi High Court directive, as it is the latest High Court position on this matter.

However we ask that all the parties involved in this dispute – the artists, CMOs and CSPs – to seek clarity on the matter and settle on a payment structure amicable to all.

On our part, we remain committed to work with all industry stakeholders.

Our hope is that progressive gains made so far for artists will continue to lead to the desired reforms and harmonization of the industry for the benefit of all stakeholders

Bob Collymore

Chief Executive Officer

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