Hotel operators mull dragging MUSIGA to court over Copyright Act

Dr Edward Nyameke Ackah

The Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) have censured the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) for demanding high copyright royalties from the hospitality sector.

The move, according to the hotel operators, is having a toll on their livelihoods and have hinted of going to the law court to seek legal redress.

Members of MUSIGA have initiated moves to ensure payments of royalties from companies and entities for the use of their creative works.

With the emergence of new channels of distribution and usage of music, MUSIGA has adopted various ways of enhancing the collection of royalty payments from all sectors including the hospitality sector.

Speaking on Onua TV on Tuesday, September 13, the National President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Nyameke Ackah, called on the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to intervene to salvage the situation.

He is perturbed by the payment modalities and the fact that the copyright management organizations adjust royalties and use the number of rooms in hotels as well to calculate royalties.

“We have gotten to a point where we want to pursue the matter in court; I don’t know what the Minister would want to do about it but the simple issue here is that this is something that has been pending over the years and it’s like nobody is able to deal with the matter.

“And in our jurisdiction, we can go to court for legal redress because we are trying to avoid the situation where the copyright management organizations can decide to adjust royalties as and when they wish and as and when they deem fit,” he howled.

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Dr. Nyameke Ackah expounded that it is not the right approach as it violates or contravenes the Copyright Act.

He further expressed doubt in the Copyright Act that compels hospitality facilities to pay royalties for any use of music.

He has also challenged the fact that hotel operators are required to pay copyright royalties for music played on televisions in their hotel rooms.

By Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana