The Chairman of the Interim Directors of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Rex Omar has explained why they are not able to make unit charges for songs played by music users.
He said on Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM that a law that is required to give them the power to charge how much a single play of a song costs is non-existent.
He said because of that they only rely on data of the number of plays from their third party company Global Music Monitoring to do the calculation.
“There is no law in Ghana that guarantees that it music is played one minute you pay 1 pesewa. There is no law like that,” he said.
Asked if GHAMRO can’t find a way to come up of the rates themselves, he answered in the negative.
“How do we find a way to measure that? The only way you can measure that is a log sheet. By the law of Ghana, you are supposed to play the music, log the music you are playing and send returns to GHAMRO. Most of the media houses are not doing that. That is the reason a third party is doing it,” he added.
He said because of this every media house pays their royalties on flat rates.
“It is the state that must do that because in the USA it is the Library of Congress that determines the rate. We don’t have that in Ghana. So when people are complaining they put all the blame on the small GHAMRO that is trying to find its way in these things,” he said.
He also noted that because CDs are going extinct in the system, they have proposed another law to enable them levy all other devices that store music but the law is still not ready.
“For the Legislative Instrument that established the Blank Levy, we had to change it to cover all other devices. It has taken us over four years. It’s now that the Attorney General, through the Copyright Office ha been able to lay something in Parliament,” he said.
Rex therefore called on the lawmakers to expedite the passage of these laws that would help them implement this directive.
This comes on the back of the recent announcement by the Interim Directors of GHAMRO that the renewal of their licence has been withheld by the Attorney General.
He said because of the the organisation will not be able to distribute royalties for its members.