MCSK cries foul, vows to continue collecting royalties on behalf of musicians despite new court order

MCSK cries foul, vows to continue collecting royalties on behalf of musicians despite new court order
  •  Orders issued following petition by Kisumu Bar Owners Association asking that the court stops MCSK from harassing music users and businesses in the name of collecting royalties
  • The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) licensed Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), (KAMP) and (PRISK) to collect royalties for 2017
  • MCSK in a successful petition had in May 2017 attained a court order from the High Court in Kakamega that upheld its mandate to collect royalties on behalf of member musicians and stopped KECOBO from interfering with its mandate

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya has vowed to continue collecting music royalties on behalf of its members against a court order issued by the High Court in Kisumu on 27th July 2017. The High court sitting in Kisumu issued orders stopping MCSK from collecting royalties from music users and businesses overruling a court order issued on 25th May 2017 that upheld MCSK’s mandate following KECOBO’s failure to renew the society’s operation licence for 2017. MCSK had however through the courts been issued with orders staying the decision by KECOBO to deny it an operating licence for the year 2017.


Speaking in Nairobi, MCSK Directors blamed their woes on cartels who they say are out to dismantle the association for personal gains.’We have a lot we are dealing with at the moment because of issues surrounding us but we must make it clear that there is no way a High Court in Kisumu can conflict an order from a High Court in Kakamega, we have an order on our side and we will continue to dispense our duties,’ said MCSK Chairman Albert Gacheru.  He noted that copyright is not given to musicians by the law adding that the law is there to protect the copyright thus the moment musicians create their music and put it into the market they automatically become owners of those rights and automatically become eligible for protection under the copyright act of Kenya and the constitution of Kenya as far as the intellectual property is concerned.

(R-L)Music Copyright Society Of Kenya (MCSK)CEO Merit Simiyu, Chairman Albert Gacheru,Rift Valley region Director Benard Mukaisi and Western Region director Pamella Binale

The MCSK officials said they will not lie low and watch individuals destroy a credible society by buying their rights to act on behalf of musicians further pushing for the ‘no pay no play’ motto . ‘Musicians have suffered enough in this country, the problems we have experienced of late emanate from cartels, we are here on behalf of our members as musicians of this country and we will not relent, we know world over that royalty collecting bodies are made up of musicians themselves through their bodies and not business companies,’ said Benard Mukaisi, the MCSK Director Rift Valley.

‘The High court in Kakamega and the High Court in Kisumu are of the same jurisdiction, unfortunately as we speak, we are holding two parallel the orders, the Kisumu court acted as an appeal court which is unconstitutional, we are therefore very concerned that our courts are dealing with issues as if they are in an island,’ lamented the Chairman.

‘There is no court that can grant another person the right to use intellectual property for free. There is no law that allows people to be using music for free, music is the property of the creators and they have to get the benefits for the use of their creative works. The judiciary must in this case bring sobriety rather than confusion,’ said Mr. Gacheru.

The officials further noted that any court in the country that was hell bent on barring MCSK from collecting royalties on behalf of musicians was contradicting article fourty (40) subsection five (5) of the constitution of Kenya where protection of property is clearly explained and protected.

‘Today, we will not speak much because these matters are still before court, we want to clarify that we are going to remain guided by the court order of the Kakamega court by Justice Njagi and we are going to continue discharging our duties of collecting for and on behalf of our members, concluded Mr. Gacheru.


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