By Lucy Ilado
A court hearing in which musicians Laban Juma Toto and David Amunga sued the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and the attorney-general in a lawsuit in which the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) and the Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE) were listed as interested parties, has been scheduled for 14 May.
In two separate lawsuit filed on 31 May 2017 at the High Court in Kakamega, the two veteran musicians challenged a 27 March decision by KECOBO to award MPAKE a royalty collection licence on grounds that they are represented by the MCSK.
KECOBO lead legal counsellor Kaindo Kiarie told Music In Africa that the orders of direction issued today by high court judges Ruth Sitati, David Majanja and Thrispisa Cherere had prohibited the MCSK from collecting royalties.
“Files have been handed to the panel of three judges by both parties,” he said. “Status quo in petition 3 of 2017 and petition 15 of 2017, which constrain the MCSK from collecting on behalf of authors, composers and publishers, remains until the matter is heard and determined by the court.”
Kiarie said counsels from both parties had until 30 April to agree on a statement of facts and a statement of issues and file and exchange their submissions.
He said both the petitioners and respondents would be awarded 20 minutes to present their arguments to the three-judge bench in May.
Apart from the two musicians, other petitioners include the Kisumu Bar Owners Association, Kisumu Green Garden Restaurant and Mosses Kennedy Amakoye. The respondents are KECOBO, the attorney-general and the MCSK.
Apart from MPAKE, other interested parties are Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays, ABC Bank and Albert Kiarie Gacheru.