The director of African Affairs of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), Robert Hooijer, has called on music users, including radio stations who use foreign musical work, to pay royalties to the owners.
He noted that it is illegal for music users to deny music right owners their royalties, adding that since the music users use music for commercial purposes, they ought to pay royalties.
The director of African Affairs of CISAC, who was in the country on a working visit, told BEATWAVES that a collective society in Ghana, some years back, entered into an agreement with international collective societies, which gave the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) the power to collect royalties on their behalf.
He noted that failure to pay royalties to music right owners means that the right owners are being deprived of their daily bread.
Robert Hooijer, who is in the country to assist the new Interim Copyright Management Team (ICMT) in putting in place the right structures that would help the copyright sector to grow, hinted that the copyright system in Ghana is far behind that of the smaller countries in Africa.
According to him, the sector lacked administrative structures, making it difficult to operate and to monitor users of musical works across the country.
He was of the view that some years back, when the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould Iddrisu, was the copyright administrator, the sector was far ahead of others on the African continent, paving way for some countries in Africa to follow in Ghana’s footsteps.
He noted that CISAC, which was formed to work towards increased recognition and protection of creators’ rights, has pledged to assist Ghana to develop its copyright sector to help streamline its operations.
He was of the view that COSGA seriously needs a communication department to create cordial relationship between the society, stakeholders, as well as music users in the country.
Robert Hooijer disclosed that his outfit was ready to assist the society in the organization of seminars, workshops, symposia, among others, to upgrade the skills of staff of the society, stakeholders and music users.
The director of African Affairs of CISAC, whilst in the country, paid a courtesy call on the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, in her office.