Musicians Will Not Be Poor If We Enforce The Laws – GHAMRO

Abraham Adjartey

Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Abraham Adjartey, says musicians in Ghana will not complain of poverty if copyright laws are enforced in the country.

In the past, a number of musicians have expressed concerns about the royalty system’s inability to enable them to make money from their music.

Many have attributed the problem to the alleged ineffectiveness of GHAMRO.

However, Captain Abraham, as he is affectionately called, in an interview with Andy Dosty on ‘Daybreak Hitz’ on Hitz FM denied such claims, stating that if the laws are enforced, it would end the financial woes of musicians.

“Right owners and musicians in this country will not be that poor if we can enforce the copyright laws to enable them to gain some income,” he added.

GHAMRO has over the years taken up the initiative to ensure that registered members of the collective society receive what they are due from their music works.

In recent times, he has reopened the conversation on the need for organisers of music reality shows to get a licence from them before organising and allowing contestants to perform songs.

The CEO said “the organisers should understand that they do not have rights to the songs to be performed and so, they have to get a licence.”

“Reality show organisers are required to visit GHAMRO, detail the number of songs to be performed by the contestants for us to grant them the permission to perform those songs in public,” he said.

According to him, performing copyright-protected works without the permission constitutes copyright infringement, which attracts both criminal and civil sanctions.

BEATWAVES gathered that to infringe a copyright refers to when the work protected by a copyright is used in the ways listed below without the authority of the copyright holder.

Copyright infringement occurs when; (a) the work is exhibited for commercial use, (b) the work is distributed, (c) the work is reproduced, extracted, and duplicated for commercial use.

In case of infringement of a copyright, the Act 690 of 2005 provides the following remedies to apply; the owner of the copyright may; (a) Petition the copyright administrator for the resettlement for such dispute through arbitration, (b) Institute criminal proceedings against the offender. If the offender is convicted, he stand to pay a fine, (c) He can also institute proceedings in the court for an injunction to stop continuing of infringement.

GHAMRO is a royalty collection agency within Ghana that represents the rights of music copyright holders. It was created under section 49 of the Copyright Law, Act 690 of 2005. The agency collects royalties for all rights owners in Ghana.