Kenyan Artists Win Big as President Uhuru Signs New Copyright Law

[Image Source: State House Twitter]

By Sikulu

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on 4th April 2022 signed into law the 2021 Copyright (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill introduces a new formula in the sharing of revenues collected from ringback tunes. According to the Bill, the premium rate service provider shall be entitled to 8.5%; telecommunication operator 39.5%; and the artist or owner of the copyright shall be entitled to not less than 52% of the revenue.

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The introduction of the law means that artists will be the major shareholders in revenue earned from ringback tunes such as Skiza.

The new development has now widened the sources of income for musicians. The passage of the 2021 Copyright (Amendment) Bill into law has been welcomed warmly by various stakeholders in the music industry.

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) said the new law provides a fair formula for sharing of revenue between artists and telecommunication companies.

"The new law provides for a fair formula for sharing of revenue from ring back tunes between artists/copyright holders and telecommunication companies. The law opens new opportunities for musicians to reap the full dividends of digital migration by ensuring that musicians are entitled to the lion's share of the monies generated from ringback tunes," part of MCSK's statement read.

MCSK CEO Dr. Ezekiel Mutua expressed gratitude to the Head of State for the new law which he termed a gift to Kenyan musicians.

"Thank you President Uhuru Kenyatta for the gift to Kenyan musicians. With the signing of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill into law, a new revenue-sharing formula tilted in favor of copyright owners comes into place. I said there will be billionaires in this industry!" Dr. Ezekiel Mutua posted.

Other societies such as the Performers Rights Society Of Kenya (PRISK) also commended the move by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Various musicians have jumped on the opportunity and are already urging their fans to subscribe to their songs as ringback tunes.

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