The Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) has said it will continue to resist attempts by sector regulator the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) which has been demanding for its members data in return for a licence.
According to the association KECOBO has continued to deny its annual licence despite having complied with all its demands and having submitted all the necessary documents by October 2022.
“The current impasse is consequent to KECOBO’s unreasonable, illegitimate and illegal demands that KAMP hands over to KECOBO all of our members’ data as a precondition of getting an operating licence from the Board. This demand is contrary to section 25 of the Data Protection Act,” says KAMP Chairperson Angela Ndambuki.
Ndambuki adds that the board has received explicit instructions from its members during the KAMP 2022 Special General Meeting not to give out their data to KECOBO or any other entity for that matter which the association has since informed KECOBO which has now doubled up on its illegal demands
“We have informed KECOBO – and hereby reiterate that the current Copyright Act upholds copyright as a private/personal property exclusively owned and controlled by its creators who have the power to grant or prohibit use, including any action that may result in unauthorised exploitation,” the chairperson added.
KAMP now says that it believes that KECOBO’s obstinacy is not only suspect but also shows that the Board is acting in bad faith, attempting to coerce a private entity into infringing on the Data Protection Act. It adds that KECOBO’s actions do not align with Kenya Kwanza commitment to protecting and promoting the creative economy.
“In fact, it seems KECOBO is fixed on destabilising the collective management edifice and rendering it ineffective.”
Similar observations have been made by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya through their CEO Ezekiel Mutua who through his twitter account called for the disbanding of KECOBO.
“Mr. President @WilliamsRuto DISBAND KECOBO. Music is a private asset. CMOS are private companies. The Principal law governing CMOs is the Company’s Act. Any other law purporting to micromanage the affairs of a private company is unconstitutional and should be repealed,” Ezekiel Mutua said in a tweet.
He added that CMOs are unlikely to disburse royalties in 2023 to creatives as without a licence they cannot collect any fees.