GHAMRO lacks legal authority to charge for music play – Rex Omar

June 5, 2023
Rex Omar
Rex Omar

Rex Omar, Chairman of the Interim Directors of the Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), has shed light on the organization's inability to impose unit charges for songs played by music users.

Speaking on Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM, he explained that the absence of a necessary law granting them the power to determine the cost of a single play prevents them from implementing such charges.

Omar stated that GHAMRO relies on data provided by their third-party company, Global Music Monitoring, to calculate royalties based on the number of plays. He emphasized that there is no existing law in Ghana that stipulates a fixed fee for each minute a song is played.

When asked if GHAMRO could independently establish the rates, Omar responded negatively, highlighting the challenge of measurement.

He explained that according to Ghanaian law, media outlets are obligated to log the music they play and submit reports to GHAMRO. However, many media houses fail to comply, which is why a third-party company handles this task.

Due to this situation, media houses pay royalties on flat rates. Omar emphasized that it is the responsibility of the state to address this issue, drawing a parallel with the where the Library of Congress determines the rate.

He expressed frustration over GHAMRO being blamed for the lack of a comprehensive framework in Ghana.

Omar further addressed the need for legislation to levy fees on devices other than CDs, as they are becoming obsolete. He mentioned that GHAMRO has proposed a law to extend the levy to all other music storage devices, but it is still awaiting approval.

He urged lawmakers to expedite the passage of these laws to facilitate the implementation of the directive.

These statements come after GHAMRO's recent announcement that the Attorney General has withheld the renewal of their license, preventing the organization from distributing royalties to its members.

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