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Safaricom seeks clarity on Skiza Tunes payouts

SAFARICOM CEO BOB COLLYMORE. FILE PHOTO | NMG
SAFARICOM CEO BOB COLLYMORE. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has returned to court seeking clarification on an injunction that barred it from remitting artistes’ Skiza Tunes royalties to Collective Management Organisations (CMOs).

The telecommunications company says the November 2016 orders issued by Justice Said Chitembwe only affect artistes Mercy King’oo and Nyiva Kingai who are the petitioners in the case between Safaricom and CMOs.

Through lawyer Billy Kongere, Safaricom argues that the orders affect artistes who are not parties in the petition and wish to be paid through the CMOs.

Mr Kongere said despite Safaricom having complied with the law, the ruling is not clear on whether to pay the artistes through CMOs or Premier Rate Service Provider (PRS).

“This has made it difficult for Safaricom to comply with the judgment,” said Mr Kongere adding that “the applicant has received complaints from artistes who desire to be paid their loyalties in absence of the CMOs.”

In the November 2016 judgment, Justice Chitembwe also issued an order that declared the agreement between Safaricom and CMOs unlawful since it lacks public participation and infringes artists’ constitutional rights.

Earlier, Safaricom used to pay the Skiza Tune royalties to CMOs, Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Performers Rights Society of Kenya and Kenya Association of Music Producers.

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