Minister of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts, 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 Copyright Administrator, Madam Yaa Attafuah, should write to the Registrar-General to have the cheque released by Tuesday, July 10,” she indicated.
Mrs Afeku was speaking at a meeting 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, and these include 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 minister, the cheque which would be written in the name of ARSOG should have 21 percent 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.
Madam Afeku added that per the resolution adopted at a meeting, 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.
Madam Afeku, therefore, called on the leadership of ARSOG to start following the Legislative Instrument (LI) 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 has 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 to deal with the issues but they went ahead.
“The reason why l wrote to the A-G to suspend their licence 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 maintained that 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.”