Kenya to Adopt Unified Model of Artiste Royalty Collection with Viusasa and Skiza Tunes Impacted

President Uhuru on MSMEs

There has been an outcry by local artists for many years on matters of royalties and payments. President Kenyatta, while addressing the public in State House Mombasa, announced structural changes with regards to content service providers, so as to support the sector using multiple approaches.

President Uhuru announced that the current structure which comprises of service providers who work with digital service providers such as Skiza and Viusasa will be eliminated because they sit outside the collection management organization, as his practical collection of this is to have all right holders, registers with the national rights registry.

“To receive royalties, content service providers will be required to channel all payments of royalties through a single centrally-managed account at the Kenya Copyright Board, to enable oversight by the regulator and ensure that the collection and distribution accounts are easily auditable. The Kenya Copyright Board with the assistance of the Ministry of ICT has already reviewed and agreed on the tariffs for 2020,” he said.

These Tariffs are to be gazetted and will form the basis in which compliance will be monitored. With that regard, he directed the Ministry of ICT in consultation with the Attorney General’s office to ensure that this new tariff structure is gazetted within the next 30 days. President Uhuru further directed the ministry to remove conditions requiring digital platforms to only work through licensed content providers, with platforms such as Skiza.

Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality, the Ministry of ICT have been tasked to ensure the public service vehicles, the tourism industry, and broadcasters to meet all their obligations in paying the tariffs, which will be a basic requirement for renewal of any license.