GHAMRO sues GBC over outstanding music user royalties
The Ghana Music Rights Association (GHAMRO), has sued the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) over royalties owed its members since 2012.
GHAMRO is an organisation registered under the laws of Ghana and further authorized by law to basically license, collect and distribute royalties for and on behalf of musicians/authors, composers and producers/publishers of musical works.
The suit comes at a time when specialized courts have been set up by the Chief Justice across the ten regions to prosecute persons who default in the payment of mandatory TV license fees, which is being demanded by the state broadcaster, despite public opposition to it. In its statement of claim captured in the suit, GHAMRO argued that, the state broadcaster had defaulted in the payment of royalties for over five years in spite of promptings to do so.
“The royalties-indebtedness of the defendant for the whole of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, remains unpaid by the defendant,” GHAMRO stated in the suit.
GHAMRO further argued that GBC had failed to obtain licenses for the “use, communication and/or public performance of musical works to the public in spite of promptings.”
GHAMRO believes GBC “would not obtain user-licenses for 2016 and thereafter for the uses and/or performance of musical works to the public unless compelled by the Honourable Court to do so.”
The following are the Reliefs being sought by GHAMRO
A declaration that the failure of the defendant (GBC) to obtain user licenses for the communication, use/performance of musical works to the public via GTV and its affiliates constitutes infringement.
An order to compel the defendant to pay 5% of revenue earned from the use, communication and/or performance of musical works to the public for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, via GTV , GTV24 and other affiliates.
An order to compel the defendant to obtain user licenses for the performance of musical works to the public via GTV and its affiliates
Perpetual injunction to restrain the defendant from the unbridled use of musical works of members/ assigns of plaintiff organisation without authorization.