The music sector is vibrant and it is estimated, for example, that revenues generated by Safaricom’s Skiza Tunes could be up to Kshs 6 billion annually (Chinasa Udeala, 360 Music Publishing, Kenya). However, it is beset by a number of challenges and the industry would like them addressed rather urgently.
There already exists a Music Policy but the legislative framework is weak. This has led to denial of musicians’ benefits through piracy, taxation, and underpayment of royalties. The industry is seeking for a legislative environment that would promote the growth and development of the Kenyan music industry. Currently, there are no legal provisions in the Kenyan Statute books that seek to specifically promote music.
The industry would like to have:
An Award Scheme to recognize and reward excellence in all genres of music and dance and further provide incentives to investors in the Local Music Industry. The system of recognition awards plays a big role in motivating artists. Elsewhere, cash awards are given alongside plaques and certificates. These assist the artists in developing their trade.
Inventories: The national inventory of institutions concerned with folk music are important for inclusion in regional and global registers of folklore institutions. The sector believes that the Government out to create identification and recording systems (collection, cataloging, and transcription) or develop those that already exist by way of handbooks, collecting guides; model catalogs etc. This would help synergize and coordinate the classification systems used by different institutions.
Incentives: To incentivize the industry, the Government is being urged to put in place measures to provide tax concessions towards music industry as a whole. This could also include giving tax incentives to advertisement agencies and media houses that make commercials on local products using local talent.
The Music Industry Development Fund: Industry would like to see the establishment of a Music Trust Fund in order to boost the amount of financing available for investment in the music industry. This would help artists create quality Kenyan music and give Kenyan talent the tools necessary to fully develop their creative and business skills.
Amend Copyright Act . The Copyright Act (Cap. 130, Laws of Kenya) is essentially in place for the protection of copyright, prohibition of piracy and other forms of copyright infringement, to provide a framework for collective management of copyright (collection and distribution of royalties) and oversight. A failure to enforce the Copyright Act or to facilitate its enforcement therefore leads to failure to protect IP right and exposure of a copyright holder to unmitigated losses.
General Enforcement: Create an enabling environment for writers, authors, composers, arrangers, publishers, producers of sound recording, performers and other music practitioners through the enforcement of legislation relating to copyright and the enactment of legislation aimed at promoting music creativity in the country.
Payment of Royalties. Reinforce the existing legislation to provide for more effective regime for payment of royalties due to artists by the broadcasting houses, digital and other platforms.
Combating Piracy and other forms of copyright infringement:
Copyright and the Digital Age: