Tackling corruption allegation in Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS)

Tackling corruption allegation in Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS)



you can take a press statement issued by the bureau rinse part Uganda registration the Services Bureau acting and powers contained in section 75 of the copyrights and neighboring Rights Act 2006 as Uganda's national intellectual property office and the National copyright information center suspended the chief executive officer that was mr. James or sulla and the compliance officer mr. Dixon Motoko the suspension all the above officials is to allow for an effective ongoing inquiry into the Constitution workings and financial conditions of the society in accordance with above provision of the no well this morning to get to the genesis of this matter we are joined by Massey Keynes actually did I get that right Massa Carys ok nobly sure she is the fabric intellectual property you are BS and mr. urs B and mr. caffee talk or imagine managing partner illegal today that's right yeah very critical the more you thank you very much for joining us you're the category so faster we need to understand the genesis of this and it's very important so usually they say when you understand where we're from you'll understand where we are and where we're headed so let's understand where we're from first how did we get here thank you you panel registration Services Bureau is a government institution that is charged with business registration dementia property civil registrations insolvency among other activities or mandates and in this particular mandate we in charge of administration of copyright enforcement and of copyright among others we are the regulator's of collective management societies and these are societies that are membership driven they are registered to represent the interests of the members in the literary artistic and scientific works and this particular matter we are regulators of antenna Performing Rights Society which is a collective management society or collecting society decorated images that in 2007 and given there was given a license in 2007 to represent and manage an issue licenses on behalf of comfort music composers performers and and other artists in the music industry and when a society as regulators has its facing challenges especially corporate governance challenges we as regulators coming to take charge and advice and and give it an opportunity to survive in some countries these organizations have been closed out they have been they have been liquidated they have been shut down to simplify that right but we have to weigh on the the benefits and the costs of shutting down such entities and moving to rescuing them we received so many complaints from the stakeholders and this the cold as a musician's our artists frightened who are members of this entity there currently we're aware of 2,000 members to belong to the this particular you cannot perform in right society and if 98% of the members have complained that they are not receiving royalties they are not they don't understand the leadership they don't know the succession plans they don't they think it's a monopoly and then they're really not satisfied with what is ongoing we come in as a government since we are rigid let us to advise to on the best way forward we also we the closure whether we can close or give it an opportunity and in this particular case since there was an investigation there is an investigation and an inquiry ongoing we felt it better in under the law the law mandates us under Section 75 of the cooperate and neighboring rights law to carry out an inquiry but as we carry out an inquiry as I regulator we have a right to put aside to suspend the leadership of that society all right every institution has a leader and there must be a country so the leaders have to step aside to allow rights to allow the investigations to be carried out and and we have to the law a mandate has to get a care take an independent caretaker and in this case we got legal advocates represented by the senior managing partner mr. Kabuto karma ji who are also well-known for taking charge and managing districts to companies but also our business rescue you know in many instances see and this has been questions coming in of course from the public and the majority of there was no social media when this news broke out yesterday and I've been asking why now musicians have been crying for for a very long time especially when it comes to paying off their royalties and many other issues that you know pigma touches on the business of music so the question has been why are you opening up to the reality now and they've already suffered losses so to speak thank you mother for that question you see musicians I guess seeing the end game but they do not know how we have gotten to this decision as a rigid late I don't just move into without having to investigate we had to carry out an inquiry and if I'm to disclose to you when we started carrying out this inquiry that led to this caretaking would have opted to closer to shut it down when did it start well I wish you can allow them discussions going I wouldn't want to prejudice the investigations but what I wanted musicians to know is that we stand here to represent their interests and to safeguard their interests this collective management society is for their own benefit and if they are not benefiting or they have not been greenlit and I know they are not earning from this which we have to come in to ensure that they get the right things they're in their entitlement but but that notwithstanding their stages in the back end office well that USB would be bring a lot we put regulations in place with corporate governance we've had meetings with with the UPS the chain the board the board after we had intervened we we have been doing right a lot behind the scenes and this is one of the stages the caretaking is one of the many stages that we have taken so it's a journey that started way back way back I you know tell us when it started well the complaints are becoming game I think the complex started coming in 2017 okay that is when the the Registrar General constituted an audit a team or which has been studying the documentation and all this and now we came to the caretaking to take charge and also find out they do a deep analysis of what is happening because sometimes you ask for documentation and you do not get you to ask for reports you do not get what you're supposed to get get the musicians are other reports so we had to come in and take charge and establish what is happening within the society itself okay as legislators so whatever we are doing is to find a do a diagnosis and and at the end of this caretaking we shall recommend on the best way forward but as regulators we are doing always in the interests of the musicians you want them to gain from there so it because if they are claiming that royalties are being : some members have been belong to this society for quite some time and they say they have never received anything any penny from the music that is played in the public maybe we need to also bring out the ball cleared in this discussion the role of collective management so search for it and so that members of the public do understand alright coming from I'm going to get to you mr. Kabuto but first we need to understand yesterday in a statement that was released there was mention of financial mismanagement so usually those are terms that are used to confuse us the ordinary you can dance but we want to put in terms how much are you in position to tell us how much money we're talking about here thank you for the question I wouldn't want to prejudice the investigations and that is where we cannot talk about the monies that I involved at any point we get to know yes this this investigation is for the public okay and for all the stakeholders of ending the monies will be whatever report that comes out will be published and will be shared all of us going to take they we have given ourselves two to three months okay to conclude okay because we are like at the tail end of the suggestions to conclude may take we're taking charge for the next two to three months okay so that's why they look provides then two to three months investigations our way to be ongoing yeah but no decisions have been ongoing yes ticking okay the caretaking is good topic for the next three months so um you as a legal monkey you're coming in your your now the new get key points what is your room what what are you going to be doing now as the investigation to go in because you it doesn't suddenly come to a stop so you know things need to keep happening there's work to be done but what is your main role just to clarify Abel Molina is where I come from is that so who asked to nominate individuals that would be catechist so we have two individuals that are going to be getting this entity that's myself and Rita Rita Akuma we don't yet our role is to facilitate this more the investigation so in that regard we are going to be the eyes of the RSB and the investigation machinery on the ground in respect of any documentation that is available within the entity we are the ones going to be looking for now because the entity must continue running our next obvious list to ensure that it does continue to run so your even the Performing Rights Society will not close okay under this period where caretaker managers we are just holding it for the interim and for the period on the investigation or the period that we've been asked to handle this as the investigation continues thereafter we'll be handing it back over to you our SD if it's such as the regulator or to the membership of the society or to the board so we had just in that holding position right mr. Bator just let us in on this one and I think we need some clarity in this help us distinguish between this particular process of caretaking compared to the normal processes that we see whenever institutions go down because of missile nature-made mismanagement of funds or corruption so to speak especially brokering from you know the push and pull from utl many are saying liquidates they are saying let's change management so what's the difference in this particular process question very good question the distinction is between South Korea's night Hyundai when you first of all in this case way –usb is acting on a complaint some complaints and some grumblings that don't seem to be ending within the membership so this process of cattingly this bust is instituted for purposes of aiding and investigation by a regulator now the outcome of this investigation could be anything it could clear in the money you know these allegations it could happen it could clear the management of any wrongdoing it could also establish visits so we're just looking okay that's not what scare tactic is about the process that you're talking about we will get to you tal and others we're talking about going down like you say we took about a distress financial distress they can't pay their debts creditors have moved in as it would be in the case of a receivership and I recovering money from that entity for themselves which is not the case here in the case of utl we have an administration process what happened in that case is that KTL noticed it is in financial trouble and can't meet its obligations so return to court for protection this is allowing me to negotiate with my creditors might allow me the give me protection let them not come after me as I negotiate okay and that's what happened do you have a been a provisional liquidator a lesser provision administrator then becomes an administrator in that position no one else can sue you tear now no – all if you hold the odd minute you just wait and you negotiate between him and he gives you terms under which he can pay that affair to you in liquidation on the other hand is come across the company has died so three distinct processes you have night and day okay it's it's it's it's quite interesting at that flicker mark that you are coming into this entity and you are now the catechol do you have that's the professionalism within me go back to for example now you have been talking about UDL which is definitely at different fields now you're going into a different field do you have people that need that sort of expertise to run or to to be caretakers for those three months or do you carry on people from the other boards include them with this new team what is the process like do you come in and just say everyone here move out let's do you pick out a few people to help that's a very good question but you kind of goes asking me get out absolutely but I think I love amethyst published fairly good record in management of distressed companies now distressed entities can be distress can be caused by two factors one is financial management financial management doesn't have to be mismanagement it's just man the man is not a a cash rolls or how do you deal with that situation the other is a management paralysis where management is talking to her there's miscommunication decisions have been made and in the decline so we've established a record in management of those two type event it is the style of entry greedy determined is determined by this you know the circumstances of each case and in this particular case really the suspension for though the director talked about leadership to the suspension was directed at two officials the CEO and the compliance officer correct so our number style it's not always a vindictive process we met them we talked them explain to them consoled them you see my my water here is don't you think that at some point you're going to be mislead because you say this this these two phone cm days you know my company not having money then then there is a company just having problems with management so do you send in a spy first because you you could come in with a presumption that the problem in the company's management yet its money or you could come in being told that it's money that is the problem in the company yes that yet its management so how do you pick out what what you're going in forward you just go in and figure it out when you get there trade secrets I'm happy to talk about it a company in distress does not hide where the problem is it doesn't last one it's crumbling this one is a crumbly going to part of you so why is he listen if you're not tell this now you're not going to do this work do you listen study body language and out of there before you know did the sense yes before talk what we need to talk people talk so you is just listen right and you don't have to fight everybody I mean it sticks discuss of people as you build your answer you know you know is with you I mean I know deep in time yes there's a risk of of being misled and sometimes you best-looking friend could be your enemy but like I said it does not last all right miss Massey you know I was just looking up the duties of the UPR s and may you know remittances of royalties I think is the heartbeat of the institution because I mean this is where this bread and butter for the 2,000 members but just looking through we have music publishing that's part of their services we also have royalty distribution like I mentioned we also have music value members registration music licensing and copyright law I think which is the backbone of everything but whenever we have inquiries people get worried especially on the you know a pretty much the sincerity of the process and you know the integrity of the people carrying out the inquiry and many have said that throughout inquiries the bigwigs them that have the voice then that carry the weight are compromised so how sure are we this will not be the case in this particular inquiry I thank you for that question well as you have built up the roads over collective management society and particularly this you you PRS develop a family right society they do not just exist the one licensed by Uganda registration Services Bureau to carry on the duties of following up the rights of the members especially with regard to management payment of warranties enforcing the copyright law our support and so when I mean this station is ongoing there's a lot that we have on our reports in regard to documentation there's also a lot of complaints from almost every member but also complaints from the parallel institutions that we are registered not as collective management research is back on cos organizations to bring musicians together to listen to the musicians for the performing the publishers because there are so many stakeholders we want to assure the public that this is without prejudice and the law is being followed and whatever comes out will be as is and it's not because at the end of the day these two thousand members have different levels of performance we have the big musicians we have the upcoming musicians maybe even the fresh daddy was about to join and many others in the music industry only at corporate industry any person that performs us this rank does not as it is original work and doesn't matter the quality doesn't matter there were the people are like it or not and so but when you are when people are members of a society and they are not benefiting from your collections because the collections what are the collections for if ordinarily as a musician you may decide it's actually optional to belong to a collective manage and society you may decide to run these rights individually or belong to a collective management society why do encourage members to join collective money in society this is global practice and is the best practice because you as Julian economy no mercy or baby cool as Raggedy you have no time to run to the broadcaster's to rock the boat areas run to the events managers to collect correct to collect your fees right and so you belong to a society to run all this on your behalf if Hotel is playing your music if they want you they want a license to issue it to management and so on if it is beyond the borders if it is being played in Kenya or Nigeria the collective management societies have reciprocal arrangements where if Juliana Kalamazoo's music is played in a place where you can has reciprocal arrangements with they can collect on your behalf but all this has not been has been happening to a small extent but musicians feel there's more to be done indeed maybe do you think the lower membership maybe could be as a result of loss of confidence in the in the institution so to speak because we have many many artists and many musicians in the country but mm yes I'm this mm they're active and active learners I wouldn't want to go into details but for sure if a decision is so attractive and the members that are there are gaining from what they are getting what they are supposed to get what we do in view of increasing enforcement encouraging people to respect copyright because it all starts with us the members of the public we do not want to pay we want to use people's one right option that is the message watches people's once we enjoy them when Jake people's music in our hotels we play them on our televisions radios and we are not paying if a music this work Juliana's music for my private in my home setting and so there's an exception under the law if I'm just listening in my kites okay but if I'm using it for commercial gain and this musician behind the music is not benefiting right it discourages create United certify then we blame and come to take over this collective management societies the message out there to the public is respect people's work it's biblical if Omega D if watch other musicians are all local musician wind energy goes for artists they the purpose of them is applying music they have put in a lot of investment they performing from them in the since the videos Marva trials they have to pay these hotels to come up with beautiful videos they have to pay these people the instruments they have to get performers they have to get dancers they have to to keep my clothes to perform to appeal to appeal to the public now imagine that investment and before they launch their albums and further launch their music before they carry on any public performance their CDs are being cut on the streets that is piracy and so even as we try to organize the collective money in society what's this music musicians belong to there are many musicians that do not belong to this called collective management society so they can individually they have a right to come to the corporate office which is gonna register Services Bureau and complain where this reasonable suspicion that somebody's making copies of their CDs the music or there's an entity a broadcaster are playing their music and they're not benefiting they have a right to apply to us and we come into a force store and seize their goods also in get the broadcaster's people have to be paid from their strengths because that is their property need together you know this conversation sometimes sons are not too foreign because I think it's it's it's behavior habits that we have here in Uganda if I've been fortunate enough to know a few little and I was very very shocked it's I think about twelve thirteen year olds that lives in Europe and they won't go they won't find a way of downloading a song off the internet it's just they just have it in their head it's not right it's not made to you to you one song you go and pay for it or go buy the bite from a store something and that's that's that's that's the assisting that they have they've grown up knowing you destiny that's the illegal for you to do isn't it time that two things one we need to begin from the roots we need to educate people so that they understand more on the laws especially when it comes to performing us and what kind of music weaker or what kind of artistry we can get and at what cost on how we can get it to one and then – isn't it time to involve you are a because I think they're they are the bigger enforcers when it comes to piracy for example if we're very sure that we're trying to make sure that the people down now and the bench one come wherever streets and notes pirating this music then why are we letting in all these empty cities into the country that cost five hundred you gotta shillings making it easier for them to pirate this music while we add for for as long as I've known I've never bought an official album and yet when you go to Europe its official albums that are being sold is that they're a weakness maybe in the law well it's a weakness of a lot because the law has all these provisions for example it provides for both dimensions for damages nobody's allowed to bring in pirated works fake works sort of you know we have BlackBerry's all over the corner a movie comes out in the US and in two weeks as our cinemas here in in Uganda struggling so much to get the rights to get those movies in and are changing people $20,000 shillings to watch the movie I can get it at 1500 yeah and in a shop that is officially known and Ysabel racist he said we do understand the crowd of the public and enforce which has been done and continues to be done and involves many stakeholders they you cannot police for some part you can a registration services bill we have an unfortunate unit that is run by Atlanta police and the levels of enforcement have increased and improved because you have seen them on television season goods that are counter painted using movies that are directed and so on so it is we walk me through you're working with other entities you see see we are working with the Media Console we are working with that you are in and we have even had joint operations we have worked with the ISO and so on it's it's not a slow process to be done and you know what we have also invested in some people doing it without the knowledge that I am reaching them and our approach has been let the people know that they are being wrong we have had meetings with the enforcement agencies including ourselves we have had meetings with the film the film industry the broadcasters the musician the publisher and so on and may they know we have sent out information something we share something very very small because this is this is this is I think this is where the problem is you say you are educating the people so that they can understand but I think you're not educating the core of your people and I'm talking about this 2,000 people here that are your members there are certain people that go to the studios release their music put it on a fraud or on a flash or a CD or something go distribute it themselves they go and distribute it along all the income and attention and then come back to you and ask from the for for some money not let me comment on that you see a footprint is a private range it's like you having you form your own phone if it is stolen that's when you come to government to report yeah I practice like you learn if it is trespassed upon which is upon you to come to the government to report and then you take action so when your music is being pirated I as a rigid later I ask government I cannot tell I have no capacity that your music is being abused but when you report that this person has there has made movies I mean copies for my movie this person has made copies for my music all this broadcaster is playing my music without authorization we come in all right what ok but also and it's a big discussion this is a lot to do with some artists prefer to be popular these are being paid for the alone so there's some others who feel I don't know me event we have copyright I don't understand I don't you I want to be popular a big watch to play their music and play their videos for popularity and at the end of the day they don't have even funny to say something really to defend them I think this dish nation of USB which of my work I think they have been institutional changes in there that are better we didn't have a narrative before for example the institutional changes lead to that you didn't have an enforcement police in there it's there now and we've seen more of those at first it's only going to get better and I think this this this process we are going to are going through is should be one enlightening one about the increased significance and therefore smegma can use also view our recipe we're seeing this with Uganda performing rights within the intellectual property Directorate I can almost tell you that I see this happening in the rest of the barricades enforcing corporate governance I mean the public should be honest from watch now this is what is happening it's going back to your peers in my discussions with the there's now suspended CEO yesterday he revealed to me something extremely profound today the value of you your PRS you know that they brought a couple of hundred millions a year as the question is this a potential I said no a potential if we're able to realize it is somewhere within the original beginning to fight truly correct three to five trillion but to do that to arrive to that it was very clear that is going to take a lot of hard work number one to enforcement to change of behaviors I do not buy pirated movies myself I don't it's a principle I have not yet watched because I want to buy I have to buy the really came it's my maybe it's for me it's the certain mental person that I must give that creator we have to like I say we have to rock on some counter changes well in society and agility yeah it comes from to being you know very deliberate about it yes miss master yes just to add on what clicking the capital the same we need a discipline society yes we need a discipline society that has it in mind that when you do wrong you must face well so you should not make it a habit to eat into somebody's site to use somebody's work without pain alright so miss Massey as you wrap this up we are running short of time unfortunately people want to know what mechanisms and measures of you put in place to ensure that this inquiry is transparent and free of prejudice I think you I'm your donor insertion services we as a regulator has a proven for the last six years that it can perform and can change institutions and we have put many reforms in place within our institution than have made us to be the best performance but when it comes to also the entities that we regulate want them to respect corporate governance and corporate governance is key on our agenda when you want accountability what decisions to account wanted systems to be transparent you want the membership to be known some members are not known one leadership of institutions that we were you late to be clear and have even a transitional kind of arrangement you can't be the same person leading for 10 years of an institution when we also have other artists and other rich people that are capable of leading we want to see things done in the right way all right and and the law being followed we have even put in new regulations new new guidelines to guide the collective mind in the societies because sometimes they know may be silent on other issues but what are the best practices in other countries so we want institutions to perform the role they are meant to do to do and we'll see good results from these investigations and other collective management societies which are facing similar but it's a global issue you should also know that before you actually know that you're alright okay thank you so much for coming in studios we hope that in two three months we will have you here back of course to give us the recommendations and you know pretty much steps that will be taken there after mr. can be to your last remark say especially now that we know that let me there are matrices of fire royalties is not the only way that our artists actually gets a coin or two they're also fleeced by the managers list by different promoters so touch on that as we bring this to a rock yes I'm going to be as care technologies I am the eyes of the investigation within the entity and I'm certainly going to have a test of a full full test of the challenges the industry faces what I'll ask for is really cooperation and a chance from the members from the public and the users please be I have appointed by urs B so I have the full backing of the regulator it does not mean that you do not say that use please do pay I am actually starting today okay I'll be reaching out to a be reaching out to all the users to ensure that this is the – due to the entity our trade okay at some point I'm sure I'm going to meet all whole musicians and we're going to have that discussion I am independent and just the eyes of this compromise know one thing for sure what we were having all this conversation I can tell that you have been trusted by the book that she gives you when you're explaining has a lot of trust that you can tell you how being trusted and I think quite rightfully thank you and we hope we are hoping for the best Reiki and we look forward remember you are in charge in three months we're going to bring you back here yeah and we would be asking the questions that we are asking now and it would be a little bit bruto then we have been because now we would be looking for answers three months down the road where are the results and to the people that are infringing those fact are making copies here obviously when the music of artists please okay thank you very much that's it for our Kickstarter conversation during us this morning Massey can we show the director intellectual property that is urs B and Kabuto color magic managing partner legal Mac they're the caretakers of you PRS for the next two months three months as inquiries into its alleged mismanagement core zone and we wish them the best and we'll have you back here to explain how far the things are told and hopefully would have good results now please keep on educating the people I think that's very very pivotal for change yes for as educate the people so that we understand when were infringing on the law and hopefully that will bring about some behavioral change as well thank you very much and good morning right about now let's link up to Steven bitter who is already out on the streets to let us know on how the traffic is down there Steven bitter good morning where are you and how is the traffic also once again from the city center Kampala is indeed on Gaia's Road and this is ten kilometers out of Kampala or call it 6.2 miles as we drive along this Gaia's are

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