THE GHANA Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) and Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) have signed an agreement to work together again.
The two bodies signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on how members of GIBA will pay music royalties for the songs they play.
GIBA had initially failed to attend a press conference to sign the MoU for which GHAMRO had threatened to go to court.
However, after the two entities ironed out their differences, they held a short ceremony at the Copyright Office in Accra where the agreement was signed.
The agreement, signed by Kojo Antwi, the Board Chairman for GHAMRO, and Akwasi Agyemang, President of GIBA, was witnessed by the Copyright Administrator of Ghana, Madam Yaa Attafuah, and other executives of both GHAMRO and GIBA.
Personalities at the signing included some members of GHAMRO, namely Ahmed Banda, First Vice-Chairman; Abraham Adjatey, Chief Officer; and Jonathan Cudjoe, General Manager. Others were members of GIBA – Gloria Hiadzi, Executive Secretary; and Chief Crystal, Chairman of the Council of Elders of GIBA.
The parties further agreed on the need for all the broadcasting stations to provide GHAMRO with the required programme returns of the works broadcast on air to enable GHAMRO to identify deserving rights owners to whom payments should be made.
GHAMRO, established under Copyright Act 690 of 2005 and regulated by Legislative Instrument 1962 of 2010, is the only organization mandated by the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice to license, collect and distribute royalties on behalf of music right holders in Ghana.
According to the L.I. 1962, any person who intends to perform the work of an author or cause the work of the author to be performed in public or do any act in respect of work protected under the Copyright Act shall apply to the appropriate society for a licence for the performance of the work.
This is in fulfilment of rights granted under section 5 of the Act, where the author of protected copyright work has the exclusive economic right in respect of the work to do or authorise the public performance, broadcasting and communication of the work.
In the operations of collective management organizations, broadcasting (radio and television) has been identified as essential music users of musical works, which makes them major stakeholders in the payment of royalties.
Over the years, GIBA has fostered several collaborative relationships with GHAMRO, including agreeing on royalty payment levies and modalities of payment on behalf of its over 200 members out of the 400 or so radio and television stations currently on air.