Legendary Ghanaian Highlife Musician, Anthony Ackah popularly known as Aka Blay has criticised the leadership of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), saying they lack vision.
The renowned guitarist said this in an interview with Agyemang Prempeh (Agyengo) on Legends on TV XYZ Sunday whiles discussing royalties creative persons in the music industry receive in the country.
The ‘Take Away’ hitmaker revealed indeed he gets some royalties out of his work from GHAMRO but felt it is not enough since his annual royalties from the organization is GHS 430 annually from the board.
“I get royalties from GHAMRO .. every year I receive 430 consistently for 4, 5 years ago, every year 430 and
I ask myself even if they play it twice on TV XYZ every year,” he disclosed as he expressed disappointment in GHAMRO.
Aka Blay recalled how his 22-year-old daughter got disappointed in GHAMRO after seeing his annual royalties from the organisation.
“One day my phone was with my daughter and she saw a mobile money alert on it and informed me. When I asked her to check for me she said it was from GHAMRO and I asked how much the money was and she said it was GHS 430,” he narrated, stating that “My daughter after seeing the amount said Dad this is disgraceful.”
Asked what he makes of the royalties from GHAMRO, he “the people who are leading GHAMRO have no knowledge about what they are doing and are visionless.”
“It’s disgraceful that the whole year this the amount of money I’m receiving from Ghamro…See the guitar I’ve played in Ghana not only Ghana but around the world.”
What Is GHAMRO?
The Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) was established under section 49 of the Copyright Law, Act 690 of 2005 and regulated under L.I. 1962 of 2010 to collect and distribute royalties on behalf of authors/composers and other rights owners.
Like all other copyright societies, GHAMRO is a non-profit corporate body (limited by guarantee) and therefore all fees collected are distributed among the right owners whose works have been used, in this instance composers, authors and producers, publishers in proportion to the use made of their works.
GHAMRO is duly authorized by written assignments and affiliated to composers’ societies all over the world through the execution of reciprocal representation agreements with Societies outside Ghana whose works Ghana protect under treaty and other international treaties. In this way, GHAMRO authorizes all those societies to administer the music of Ghanaian composers and authors in their particular countries. Conversely, GHAMRO administers in the territory of Ghana, not only the music of its Ghanaians members but also the great store of music in the repertoires of all those other societies – in other words, the music of over 1,000,000 composers, authors, and producers in some 150 countries.
In this way, GHAMRO renders an invaluable service to the users of music in Ghana. GHAMRO makes the music user’s task very simple, for a single and very moderate annual payment, GHAMRO issues a license authorizing the licensee to use any music in the worldwide repertoire which it represents. Having made that single payment each year, the licensee is secured in the knowledge that GHAMRO holds him covered, and that he can perform in public any music in GHAMRO’s list without fear of being sued for infringement of copyright
GHAMRO was formed in December 2011. Before 2011, it existed as the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) which was formed in 1986, and a general body creative products.
After just under three decades, the music arm of COSGA was handed over to GHAMRO, which instituted an interim board to administer its duties.