Over the past few days, there has been series of information on social media directed only spurring out lies, callous untruth about processes being undertaken by the Court Appointed Receiver Managers. These things are not new as the very persons responsible just moved shop from the electronic media onto social platform which they believe may serve their own purpose. We do not believe in joining any exchange of bantering because it serves no useful purpose so this brief is purposed to educate the reading social medians as to the facts, truth and then we ask them to judge for themselves.
- COLLECTIVE ADMINISTRATION
The benefits that creative authors derive from their works established under our Copyright law, Act 690 section 7 which among others provides that it is only the owners of the work that can authorize the communication, translation, reproduction and use of the work. It is however expensively difficult for any single individual to monitor the use of and collect payments from different users. To maintain this balance, copyright owners all over the world forms associations, grants the entity the authority to collects on their behalf and distribute royalties from users desiring to use their works. This is what is known as Collective Management Organizations or CMO’s. It is therefore important to understand that a COM has no place for just membership except such members have works which are published and can be exploited economically. It is for this reason that we have such welfare associations like PROMAG, MUSIGA, GAPI, PROMSAG, MUDAG, VEMAG which are entities that solely caters for the needs of their members without requirement for works ownership.
In Ghana, the Copyright Act 690 and the LI 1962 has licensed GHAMRO as the sole CMO to collect music copyright fees on behalf of its members like the PRS, ASCAP, SAMRO. GHAMRO is therefore required under LI 1962, section 27 – 35 to maintain offices, a register of its members, works, meetings, accounts and provide reports of its activities. As a company GHAMRO is also obliged to call a yearly Annual General Meeting and go through processes to appoint Board Members as per its constitution.
My name is Abraham Adjatey, currently the Administrator of GHAMRO which makes it easy to identify and locate me in case of any feedback for redress. In the same manner, I throw a challenge to those spitting out whatever information via social media to also put out their identity and come out of the shadows so we all can deal with the matters for the benefit of the industry. For benefit of the industry I will want to deal with the matters raised as per the headings
The GHAMRO constitution provides under Section 28, steps required to conduct election, a process the Receiver Managers have followed strictly. It was our foremost objective to conduct the elections putting a Board in place within our six month mandate. It was in line with this objective that Receiver Managers outlined our program at the Emergency General meetings held in Accra, Kumasi and the discussion platform at Tamale where we specified nomination criteria, timelines, dates for picking nomination forms and submission. These processes were extensively broadcasted via print and electronic media adverts for the benefit of right owners, which however was without regard to anybody going to court. As part of our national democratic process however, persons like George Dickson, Rex Boateng and others brought an action to the effect that ample time was not allowed for participation whilst members of the same group picked up nomination forms to take part in the election. In respecting the laws of our country, the election was put on hold due the ten day interlocutory injunction granted the plaintiffs which has elapsed over a month ago, the effect is that there is no injunction barring the elections unless otherwise.
It is important to note that for over 27 years, i.e COSGA to GHAMRO, no elections have been held to appoint a Board so this process presents a unique opportunity to right owners members to choose who they want to control their organisation. At this point, you can deduce for yourself the kind of leadership we have had over the years, particularly the means by which they have had control over GHAMRO without recourse to the Companies Code under which the Society was formed.
For the benefit of the members interested in due process, we have again started the electoral process with a notice of election in the daily Graphic and Times, pages 19 & 17 respectively to hold the ballot for GHAMRO Board on February 11th, 2015.
It is important to put it out that before the Receiver Managers came into office, the set out modalities for GHAMRO membership has been totally disregarded to the effect that there has not been any credible register. GHAMRO membership is based on personal application, declaration and assignment of rights to the Society, without which no person can claim part of. As explained from the onset, membership is an individual right based on the each member having a work, application and assignment of those rights for the Society exploitation, it therefore stands to reason that no association can claim membership except where such group has jointly created a work and applied. No name has been expunged from the register and I call on those who believe they have works and have fulfilled the criteria to come forward to GHAMRO to have those issues sorted out if any.
In conclusion, our generation is blessed to have the advantage of media, for that matter social media which has provided the platform to reach millions at a time. Advantaging this great opportunity however requires us to update our knowledge on issues else we lose the benefits that come with it. It is true that we cannot wholly block out hooded and misguided person bent on doing what may not benefit the industry, but with information we will gain over them.
I wish to assure all that we will follow due process in ensuring that no person or body of persons is disadvantage in any way, I ask that all should follow the timetable and take note of timeliness.