Over the past few years, I have paid close attention to discussions relating to copyright and royalties. The former and the latter are intertwined and is one area which is dear to the hearts of all musicians in Ghana because it involves extra income for them.
Copyright and royalties are all about ensuring that, the property of musicians are protected and money that accrues from using such property is paid to the rightful owners.
Ordinarily, this should not be such a difficult job to do. So why should that become a big issue in Ghana? It is a known fact that, copyright and royalty issues have always resulted in bickering among the musician themselves.
The pitching of one faction against another on very many occasions has made it impossible for them to come together to fight a common cause.
A few years ago when Carlos Sakyi, a well known composer and musician offered to lead a crusade to put a stop to the divisions and ensure that what musicians deserved as royalties were appropriately paid them, the expectations of musicians and other stakeholders soared.
Even if you do not know Carlos Sakyi personally or like him for whatever reasons, his intensive knowledge in copyright related issues and strong advocacy will certainly make you admire him.
I think that won him loads of admiration as well as winning confidence of many of his fellow musicians. He had a way of articulating his views on how certain bodies were taking undue advantage of the Ghanaian musician in relation to copyright and royalties.
Carlos had built a strong case for him as being an enemy to any wrong doer to a Ghanaian musician. Sometimes, you just have to applaud his knowledge on those areas which his other colleagues find wanting.
He had led several campaigns which fought individuals and groups whose works were against the musicians in Ghana. Some of the things that Carlos extensively spoke about then were the need to have an association that will bring sanity into the music industry whose leadership was no longer accountable to musicians and composers.
He spoke about the need for the defunct Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) to render account of its stewardship. He had also been a strong advocate for logging systems for radio stations to check the usage of music by the stations.
Having a led a crusade against other regimes to protect the Ghanaian musician, it was largely expected that such a personality as Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), was going to be the turning point in the fortunes of music right owners.
After being in office for the last couple of years, stakeholders appear more disappointed than ever before. What I have deduced from what has been going on is that, Carlos has been doing what he had accused other people of doing.
He is accused of being a dictator, not accounting for his stewardship and not being transparent enough as interim Chairman of GHAMRO.
The question is why Carlos doing all of this? Why is he ignoring all the calls from his colleague music right owners to do the right things? Why is he behaving contrary to what he stood for and preached against early on?
It’s time for Carlos to do the right things he had preached on years back or resign if he has any dignity.
I wish to advise Carlos to come out and answer all questions raised by musicians before his name is totally swallowed by mud.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz