EDITORIAL: Probe music cash claim

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The Music Copyright Society, as the custodian of the interests of composers, collects royalties on behalf of the members and is required to remit the proceeds to them.

As the industry custodian, it is guided by rules.

But it is being accused of several breaches, including failure to account for royalties collected.

Neither can it provide a fully audited statement of accounts.

Consequently, the regulator, the Kenya Copyright Board, has revoked its licence. This is quite paradoxical.

The lobby has given the impression that it fights hard for its members.

But it seems to have alienated itself from those whose rights it seeks to protect.

It has also invited fear from the general public because it has been carrying out its mandate with unprecedented crudeness, including harassing motorists, music sellers and kiosk owners suspected of playing music without paying royalties.

By failing to account for collections, the society has put itself in an inelegant position; for it is a body that should ordinarily be a paragon of transparency and decency.

Failure to honour its financial obligations to the government and its clients suggests impropriety, which calls for investigations and punishment, should there be proof of culpability.

In the meantime, the board should ensure that the royalties are collected so that musicians do not lose out after working so hard.

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