At the beginning of 2016, January to be exact, Elani – a local Kenyan band – released a bold claim against the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) in a YouTube video. In the video the trio explain how they had been swindled out of over a hundred thousand Kenyan shillings by MCSK and call for other artists who had experienced the same with MCSK to speak out on the matter and take action.
The trio go on to state in the video how MCSK, when allegations were brought forward, went on to state that radio stations must have given them incorrect log books thus Elani received the amounts per the amount of airtime their songs got. Elani states that this statement made to them was in fact false when they began doing investigations of their own. According to the radio stations Elani spoke to, the log books at those stations had logs of the mass amount of airtime their songs were receiving.
In short, Elani felt that not only had they been lied to, they had been cheated by the copyright society and particularly the MCSK employees that were involved with handling Elani’s income.
Elani’s case and predicament is only well-known because of how publicised and viral the video went in the span of a month; the case begs the question as to how many other artists who work with MCSK are in the same predicament as the trio but decided to settle as opposed to fight for the money they may have deserved (more than what they got).
However it is important to note that Elani’s video is nothing but allegations thus far. The video is under investigation and if it turns out that the claims made by Elani in the video end up being lies then they may face criminal charges.
Recently IP Kenya wrote a blog about the CEO of MCSK resigning from his position with no real explanation, leaving many questions lingering as to the reason for the resignation. The resignation came at a rather suspicious time as Mr. Dan Maurice Okoth is dealing with allegations as to stealing money from MCSK.
The resignation alongside the allegations made by Elani (and other artists who have not spoken out yet) on being supposedly wronged by MCSK – especially if the allegations are seen to be true – then Elani should get the money they deserve if not, however, then Elani may end up having to get out of serious legal trouble.