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Uhuru bars Viusasa from collecting revenue on behalf of artists

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a directive to stop content service providers from collecting revenue on behalf of artists.

Speaking on Tuesday at Mombasa StateHouse the president said to ensure transparency in the industry one agency will be entitled to collect revenue on behalf of artists.

He directed the Ministry of ICT together with the office of the Attorney General to ensure tariff structure is gazetted within the next 30 days.

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“I direct 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,” said President Kenyatta.

In what seemed as a direct attack to Viusasa and Skiza tune the President said they will be eliminated since they sit outside collection-management.

“The current sector-structure, which comprises of content service providers who work with digital platforms such as Skiza and ViuSasa, will be eliminated, [and], this is because they sit outside collection-management. My practical direction is to have all the rights-holders register 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 national copyright board, and this will enable oversight by the regulator, and ensure that collection and distribution accounts are easily auditable,” said President Kenyatta.

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This comes after the Music Copyright Society of Kenya was under attack for the ‘meagre’ amount they paid to Kenyan artistes.Kenyan artistes and their fans attacked the organisation after it was discovered that they offered Sh2,500 each to the musicians as royalties.

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