Though matters of royalties started long ago, the severity and its impact have been felt more in the year 2020 as a result of the vocal campaign of the Alliance for Change movement. Whose sole aim has unequivocally been to cause change for the better in the lives of creatives and all others linked with the creative arts industry expeditiously.
While some people in the creative arts space alleged that GHAMRO and its board members have been the reason for the deplorable state of some of the musicians in the Ghanaian music industry, others like Stonebwoy, Reggie and Bollie are willing to do all it takes if that is the immediate realistic move to get issues on royalties fixed.
Diving into the conversation, I interviewed Mr. Rex Omar, the chairperson of Ghamro. He gave us an in-depth look into the affairs and the real roles and responsibilities of Ghamro, as against some allegations leveled at him and his outfit by some musicians like Akoo Nana.
To begin with, Rex Omar cleared common misconceptions about registered members of Ghamro becoming automatically eligible for royalties from the institution. Stressing that there are different forms of registration. When a right owner, not an artist becomes (it’s not every artist that’s a right owner) a member of Ghamro they should be able to prove that their song has been performed on radio, on television for at least six months. Once they sign on with Ghamro it means they have given it permission to administer their rights for them. And that would be the only time Ghamro can start making payment.
Also applying and registering doesn’t make you an official member of Ghamro, but a probationary or provisional member till a meeting is held to decide if the said person should be accepted as a full member of Ghamro.
Responding to if membership guarantees automatic royalties for all songs of the right owner without necessarily submitting each song one by one, he explained that once you become of member of Ghamro, each song has to be submitted because each song may have different partners (interested parties) which is why each song has to be uploaded clearly stating who did what. With that the song goes into a database and assigned a code. The code which is global then becomes the DNA or identity of the song to be able to track the song.
Further to producers, they can make their royalties if they are able to prove that they are the owners of the song or be fully declared based on whom did what by all parties who own rights to the song.
As the interview went on, Rex Omar touched on many aspects of the conversations some artists are even not aware of. Click on the link and watch the full interview.
Story by Matilda Mensah Marfo