The Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) has sued MTN, Airtel, Vodafone and Tigo for using intellectual property of musicians without paying royalties to them.
According to lawyer for GHAMRO Adusei Poku, who spoke to Onua FM’s Emmanuel Agyemang, who was present at the commercial court in Accra, four cases are pending in court against the four telecommunication operators.
“In all cases, we are complaining about the use of our works used as caller tunes and the performance. Basically, the cases were in different courts and now we want them to be consolidated in one court so that the trial can take place in one court and the consolidation has been granted.”
When lawyer Adusei Poku was asked what they seek from the court, he said: “We want them to realize that the use of musical works for their activities whether caller tunes, app application, performance in public, downloads [etc].
“We want them to realize that the works of persons who are creative and genius for that reason those works should be rewarded when they are used.
“We want them to pay royalties for the use of the work [since] so far there is no consensus on it. So we want to litigate it through the judicial system.”
GHAMRO was established under Section 49 of the Copyright Law, Act 690 of 2005 and regulated under LI 1962 of 2010 to collect and distribute royalties accruing to authors and owners of copyright and neighbouring rights.
Like all other copyright societies, GHAMRO is a non-profit corporate body (limited by guarantee) and therefore all fees collected are distributed among the right owners whose works have been used in proportion to the use made of their works.