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GHAMRO Sues GBC, 20 Affiliates

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The Ghana Music Rights Association (GHAMRO) has dragged the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and twenty of its subsidiaries before an Accra Commercial High Court over royalties owed its members.

Lawyers of the Association claim the state broadcaster had defaulted in the payment of royalties for years in spite of promptings to do so.

Aside GBC, GHAMRO also sued GTV, GTV24, GTV Life, GTV Sports, GTV Govern, Obonu TV, Obonu FM and Uniiq FM.

The others are: Radio Central, Radio Savanna, Volta Star Radio, Radio BAR, Radio Upper West, Sunrise FM, URA Radio and Apam FM.

The rest are, Dormaa Ahenkro Community Staion, Twin-City Radio, Garden City Radio and Kaakye FM.

The suit comes days after the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo had established specialized courts across the country to prosecute defaulters in the payment of the mandatory TV license fees demanded by the state broadcaster despite the public outcry.

In its statement of claim GHAMRO stated that, GBC even though required by law to obtain licenses for the use, communication and or public performance of musical works to the public has failed, refused and or to neglected to obtain such user-license for years in spite of promptings to do so.

The Association believes GBC “would not obtain user-licenses for 2016 and thereafter for the uses and/or performance of musical works to the public unless compelled by the Honourable Court to do so.”

As s result lawyers of GHAMRO want a declaration that the failure of the defendant (GBC) to obtain user licenses for the communication, use/performance of musical works to the public via GTV and its affiliates constitutes infringement.

The group also want an order compelling the defendant to pay 5% of revenue earned from the use, communication and/or performance of musical works to the public for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, via GTV, GTV24 and other affiliates.

Aside damages for breach of copyright, GHAMRO also wants the court to order to compel the defendant to obtain user licenses for the performance of musical works to the public via GTV and its affiliates

The Music Rights Association also demand a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendant from the unbridled use of musical works of members/ assigns of plaintiff organization without authorization.

By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/ thePublisher

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