Boda bodas, salons to pay for playing music

Attorney-General Githu Muigai. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
Attorney-General Githu Muigai. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Boda boda operators, barber shops, gyms and night clubs will start paying for music they play in a review of copyright fees to boost earnings for musicians.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai has also approved an increase in music tariffs for public transport operators, radio stations and aircraft.

The new figures represent a six-fold increase of charges for some businesses such as public bus transport. Owners will now pay Sh36,550 per year up from Sh6,000.

Under the new changes, Boda boda operators will pay Sh300 for playing music on their bikes, Tuk Tuk (Sh900) while barber shops, gyms and salons will pay up to Sh6,250.

Radio stations will pay between Sh200,000 and Sh700,000 depending on their reach, up from between Sh20,000 and Sh300,000.

The move is expected to boost Music Publishers Association of Kenya’s revenues. Mpake took over the role of handling musicians’ royalties from the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) in March.

Artistes complained that MCSK spent the bulk of their royalties on operational expenses and paid them a measly surplus.

“Collecting of society tariffs takes effect from the date of publication to the December 31, 2018,” Prof Muigai says in legal notice No. 57 published on April 21 adding that “the Copyright Act Tariffs of 2015 is revoked.

“This tariff shall be subject to an annual increment pegged on the prevailing rate of inflation.”

Gazetting the new rates clears the way for implementation which will also see politicians pay Mpake Sh30,000 per day or a flat annual fee of Sh620,000 for truck roadshows.

Corporate entities, NGOs and State agencies undertaking promotional road shows will pay the same amount.

Local airlines have not been spared as they will pay Sh504 per seat, up from the current Sh234.

Those performing live concerts will pay up to Sh1.5 million annually for playing other artistes’ music, with night clubs paying a maximum fee of Sh500,000.

Mobile phone firms will have to part with half of the money generated from ring back tones, up from 37 per cent. Last year, Intellectual Property Owners Association and Mpake moved to court to demand a “clean up” of MCSK.

MCSK continued to breach the law that required it not to spend more than 30 per cent of its revenues on operations.