Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) led by Jonathan Cudjoe has said the country’s churches qualify as spaces that should pay music makers.
Churches, he said, should be subject to the Ghana Copyright Act of 2005, part of which states that “in any public place, by means of broadcasting, cinematography, jukebox or other apparatus, a sound recording or audiovisual work is used, the authorised performer and producer of the sound recording or audiovisual work shall be entitled to royalty in accordance with this Act. An owner of a copyright is entitled to collect royalties for the live performance of the copyrighted work or for the public performance of the recorded copyright work,” it says.
The plan, says GHAMRO, is to improve revenue for music producers through works used in churches. “We are dealing with the dioceses and we are currently dealing with the Accra local churches, which will be the first to be licensed,” Cudjoe said.
“Despite our challenges and engagements, we will still insist that our users pay what is expected of them and for us. We will be hard if our users fail to comply.” The push for royalty collection from churches will begin in Accra and subsequently move to other cities in the country. Cudjoe said part of the problem was that many establishments did not have budgets to pay for music.
He also said that GHAMRO was working on collecting royalties from online sources. “The challenge with online, unlike the public performance, is that people use gadgets at their own time and convenience, so getting them to pay will be difficult,” he said.