Entertainment critic, Kweku Osei Korankye Asiedu (KOKA) has described as ‘useless’ the marking of ‘No Music Day’ while calling for a reconstitution of Ghana’s Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO).
The collection society, together with other stakeholders on Friday, September 14, 2018 joined the Confederation of International Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) to observe the ‘No Music Day’.
‘No Music Day’ highlights the need for individuals and organizations to pay copyright claims for the usage of musical works. Radio and TV stations were hence asked not to play any form of music between 8am and 10am in order to stress the importance of music in people’s daily lives.
But KOKA mincing no words said the approach is wrong.
“This is very unfortunate and disheartening; that we are in the 21st century and an organization that is tasked to ensure that musicians get their royalties is doing this crap. Is that the best innovation in this era?” he queried, adding that “No Music Day is a waste of time and resources and those leading it should bow their heads in shame.”
According to him, the fact that officials of GHAMRO thought of observing such a day is an indication that they are not up to the task.
“…we have these crap bunch of people there who are so empty and are waiting for blank levy before they’ll pay [right owners]. We need to have a unified front and make sure that the works of musicians, producers, writers earn their money. We are wasting our time on No Music Day. How relevant will it be when even the time frame chosen is the time frame that majority of the radio stations in Ghana will be doing a talk show. The campaign was not even effective. It was rather between the GHAMRO people. What is this? Are we serious people?” he queried again.
While stressing that marking the No Music Day is an exercise in futility, KOKA suggested that GHAMRO should be reconstituted in the interest of right owners.
“I think the current GHAMRO has to be abolished; everybody there should be sacked. It should be reconstituted. The board should be the music owners. It should appoint a business entity. GHAMRO should be run as a revenue generating business. They should have policies, strategies, ways the company would be able to raise revenues. You can do this by creating reforms and ensuring that the new system represents the new era,” he asserted.
“It should be able to create new avenues where musicians can make money out of their works. If we can’t make money now, 10% of Ghana’s population uses mobile phones and internet and the internet penetration power was 19% in 2016. So it means the usage of internet and content is very high so why can’t we go and relook at the copyright legislation instrument and correct what we did eight years ago? It does not capture any digital platform, it does not capture modern day trends, it does not capture radio stations but these are the people who use our music a lot,” he added.
Throwing more light on how best right owners can get their due, KOKA said he believes “if the legislative instrument captures and recognizes that before you set up a radio station, you should have an airwatch that will be able to tell the total music played in a month so at the end of every month, the airwatch will produce the amount of money generated; if we are able to push for the copyright law to be looked at, where every car owner who goes to renew his road worthy is made to pay for the car tape because it plays music; if Telcos are made to pay through the NCA, if hotels are made to pay through the tourism levy, these musicians will make money.”