Ghanaian Musicians To Demonstrate Against Telecommunication Companies

Musicians To Demonstrate Against Telecommunication Companies There is a very serious uprising looming among a number of Ghanaian musicians toward all the telecommunication companies operating in Ghana presently. A large number of musicians feel they have been dealt a raw deal by mobile telecommunication networks, over the revenue accrued from Ghanaian music used for Caller Ring-Back Tone (CRBT) and the general usage of Ghanaian music on mobile phones in Ghana. Incredible revelations made on Peace FM’s “Entertainment Review”, points to the fact that the mobile networks get the largest percentage share of the revenue made from music usage at the expense of the musicians who own the right to the music. Music Producer and a former executive of MUSIGA Ernest Kwasi Enin of Media Excel, producers of Gospel singer Sup. Kofi Sarpong and Bernice Ofei, among others, stated on the programme that the networks are ripping musicians off their intellectual property, and they are ready to hit the streets and demonstrate against any network that has Ghanaian music on their respective platforms, if they refuse to renegotiate with them. Mr. Enin disclosed that the networks deducts 0.32 Pesewas automatically every month from every mobile phone user who subscribes to the CRBT, and out of that the networks take 70% and then the musician shares the remaining 30% with the mobile content provider who serves as the middleman between the musicians and the various networks. Then the musician and contract providers split the remaining 30% into 50-50 which implies that the musicians get a total of 15% of the entire CRBT revenue. Apart from the CRBT, Kwasi Ernest also made a shocking revelation that all the networks deduct a monthly subscription fee of 0.53 Pesewas of credit from mobile phone users, for the use of music content on their platforms and interestingly, all this money goes to telecommunication companies alone, and nothing goes to the musicians who own the songs nor to the content providers. In all this, Ernest disclosed that it’s the network companies who declare how many times the songs have been used. “The situation we are in now is very serious and I want every musician to take his destiny into his own hands and say that this is our intellectual property which is being ripped off. Our property is what we are going to use to take care of our families, and some people just set up their company to rip us off. This is fraud, and if we have to go to the extent of demonstrating against them, we all come together and do it”, Kwasi Ernest said with so much anger. Meanwhile Conrad Nyuur, Chief Operations Manager of Mobile Content Group, one of the largest content providers in Ghana, confirmed Ernest Enin’s figures and agreed that the telecommunication companies are indeed ripping the musician off, and they as content providers, are also not happy about the situation. “The networks will give you all manner of excuses but all those things are long explanations that I, as a businessman or content provider, am not happy about but it is not something I can really control. I wish I could do better for the musicians”. Conrad said he and his company understand the plight of the musicians so they always try to give them a bigger share of the 30%, but generally all content providers in Ghana are not happy about this. According to Conrad, the networks did not negotiate their 70% with anybody but rather they decided on the percentage they want from the beginning and it has been like that ever since. “People sit there and they think we the content providers we are making money off the musicians and we are not paying copyright owners what they are due, but we are actually suffering”. Conrad said the only way this problem can be solved is for all Ghanaian musicians to come together as one united force and all the content providers will rally behind them to face the telecommunication companies.