News-One has uncovered a growing volatile situation among owners of copy right works within the music industry as pressure is mounting on Carlos Sakyi, interim chairman of the newly-certified Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) to step down and hold elections.
Deep-throats within the collection society say the governing board is an interim one with an unspecified tenure which a section of the board members have interpreted to mean a two-year mandate.
However, another section of the board members are of the view that since GHAMRO now has a valid certificate to operate, it does not make sense to continue to operate on an interim board, especially when there are already accusations of malfeasance, nepotism and undercover dealings.
The disagreement is gradually getting out of hand with threats of law suits and demonstrations flying all over. Barely a fortnight ago, Carlos Sekyi and Rex Omar clashed over the issue during a radio discussion on Peace FM and their disagreement was so fierce that it generated into name callings until Kwesi Aboagye, host of the show, had to end the programme abruptly several times.
Meanwhile, Carlos has explained that the interim board has a mandate to run the organization and should therefore be allowed to set the structures in place before elections are held.
Carlos, during the clash with Rex, made it clear that Ghana’s constitution allows for freedom of association therefore persons who are not happy with the interim style of governance are at liberty to exit.
GHAMRO recently took over from the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA). The interim board has 14 members including Kojo Antwi, Rex Omar, Mark Okraku Mantey and Nat Brew. As it stands now, any owner or a registered music work in Ghana can become a member of GHAMRO as long as that creative work is being played.
GHAMRO’s certificate to operate as a collective society in the country was approved by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on December 23, 2011 and was officially presented to its board members at a short but impressive ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, January 18. The certificate of operation was presented to the board members of GHAMRO, led by Carlos Sakyi, by the Registrar General of Ghana, J.K Halley, on behalf of the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu.
Under the copyright regulations, the certificate presented to GHAMRO has given the organisation the mandate to manage the music rights of music owners and also issue licences to music users such as nightclub operators, hotels and drinking bars among other facilities operating in the country.
This has brought to an end the operations of the Interim Copyright Management Team (ICMT) which was put in place to manage the operations of COSGA.
Established under Section 2 of Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2009, Act 788, the ICMT commenced operations in April 2010 with the primary objective of restructuring the copyright sector, collecting and distributing royalties, overseeing COSGA’s liquidation and finally ushering in the new collecting societies.
The ICMT, during its operations, acquitted itself creditably, having surmounted most of the monumental challenges it faced during the restructuring of the copyright sector.
All key objectives have been achieved and the ICMT brought its operations to an end to make way for GHAMRO.
In a short remark, Carlos Sakyi, who received the certificate on behalf of GHAMRO, said for the first time in the history of the music industry, the music rights owners were going to manage their own business. “The day marked the beginning of success for the music industry in Ghana,” he noted. At the ceremony, two other societies, Copy Ghana and ARSOG were also presented with their certificates to manage the rights of members.
Stanley Sackey received the certificate on behalf of ARSOG and Dr. Kwesi Annoh received it on behalf of Copy Ghana.