Accra, July 3, GNA – The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku has ordered the Copyright Administrator to release the funds due the members of the Audio-Visual Rights Society of Ghana (ARSOG) by Tuesday July 10, 2018.
The Minister in a resolution said “the Copyright Administrator, Madam Yaa Attafuah should write to the Registrar- General to have the cheque released by Tuesday, July 10.”
Mrs Afeku was speaking to address the impasse between the members of ARSOG and the Copyright Administrator over the issue of delayed payment of levy to them.
ARSOG was established to protect the rights of owners of Audio-Visual works in Ghana, these includes Producers, Authors and Performers.
Initially, ARSOG had planned a demonstration against the Copyright Administrator over the delayed payment until the timely interventions of the Tourism Minister.
According to the resolution, the cheque, which would be written in the name of ARSOG should have 21 per cent of the money been paid to the registered performers.
She said the payment of the levy to the registered performers would not take retrospective effect but effective, 2018.
She said per the resolution, ARSOG members would take immediate steps to hold elections to elect a new Board.
“From here, we will deal with the elections and the actual legalities in the legislative instrument on the distribution of the levy to members,” she added.
Mrs Afeku, therefore, called on the leadership of ARSOG to start, following the Legislative Instrument, after the release of the funds, effective July 4, 2018.
Madam Attafuah explained to the Minister that, her office received a number of petitions from some members of ARSOG and the leadership of the Society have also breached the law, hence, the delay in the payment.
She said she called the leadership to help address the petitions brought before her against them, which included issues of registration.
However, she explained that at the same time, the issue of election came in, so she wrote to the leadership to put on hold the election to enable them deal with the issues but they went ahead.
She said it was also for these reasons that she wrote to the Attorney-General’s Department to suspend their license until further notice, when the issues have been addressed.
“The reason why l wrote to the A-G to suspend their license is that in the law, if you breach any part of the Copyright Act or regulations, your certificate to operate as a collective management organisation should rather be revoked or suspend,” she added.
Madam Attafuah said when there was a breach according to the Law, it needed to be remedied, so l told them to find ways to address the breach.
Mr Zakaria Abdulai, the General-Secretary of Film Producers Association of Ghana, thanked the Minister for her timely intervention to address the impasse between the ARSOG and the Copyright Administrator.
He said in previous years, the performers had received their levy without delay and did not know why it was difficult for payment to be done this year.
They have since called off the intended demonstration on the orders of the Minister.