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Kenyan Artists Petition To The President On MCSK

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The Music Copyright Society of Kenya exists to ensure that artists royalties are collected from various sources and then properly distributed to the artists. Unfortunately, Mr. President, MCSK has evolved into an opaque institution that is anything but honest in how it distributes royalties, and many of us artists do not receive what we're worth. While the institution continues to bear down on media houses and other entertainment outlets, including matatus, to pay royalties for our works, those royalties are not reaching us as artists.

Mr. President, you will be well aware that this is not the first time MCSK has been under the microscope for mismanagement of royalties collected and mistreatment of artists. We feel, sir, that that unless you intervene, the monster that is this institution will continue to fleece artists, shun transparency and pull down the hard working men and women who make up our music industry.

By your own admission, Mr. President, the arts sector is a critical contributor to the future of Kenya's economy. There is no way for artists to grow and contribute to our national economy if there hard-earned money is being held up by opaque bureaucrats.

To help us move forward, Mr. President, we ask that you direct the Cabinet Secretary responsible to finally enforce systems at MCSK that will ensure we artists get our worth. In particular, we ask the following:

- That MCSK be compelled to make public every quarter an updated list of its membership;

- That MCSK be compelled to make public and share with each of its members every quarter its total collections from each revenue stream;

- That in the case of revenue collected from airplay in radio stations and media houses, that MCSK be compelled to make public all play logs that have been submitted for the period; and that media houses be compelled to make public the play logs and payments they have submitted to MCSK;

- That MCSK be compelled to make public every quarter how much royalty is due and has been paid to each member and the calculations thereof;

- That MCSK be compelled to make public its store of uncollected royalties and at its cost, ensure public information that will lead to disbursement of such royalties;

- That MCSK be compelled to make redress of any royalties that have been miscalculated or are outstanding to any artists to date;

- That MCSK set in place an online system that will allow any artist to track royalties due and paid at any time;

- That MCSK undertake to support artists and set in place account managers whom artists can go to when there's a conflict or when there are discrepancies that need resolution.

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