Concerned Musicians Want COSGA Probed
A group calling itself the Concerned Members of the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) has petitioned the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Joe Gharety, to institute a probe into the activities of the interim administration of the COSGA, to protect the rights of members. They want the administration to account for its stewardship, over the past seven years, claiming the interim administration, constituted in 2001 as a temporary measure to streamline its operations by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his capacity as the Attorney General, has since not accounted for the collection and distribution of royalties to members. The administration is said to have distributed royalties to members, for a record 14 times, without proper accounts to members, a practice the aggrieved members say is in contrast with the previous arrangement, where all revenues were posted for the perusal of members. The concerned group did not understand, why the contract for the construction of COSGA offices, was unilaterally awarded, by the leadership of the interim administration in 2006. They also claim a whopping 25,000 Ghana cedis was sourced from the COSGA funds to organize the MUSIGHA elections, in Sunyani last November. The group also want the administrative body to explain why an additional 10,000, Ghana cedis was collected in January 2008, by the current administrators of MUSIGHA. The petition said 2,000 Ghana cedis was reportedly awarded to each of the members, as a Christmas bonus for 2007, while the highest royalty ever paid to an artiste, under the seven year tenure, was 350 Ghana cedis. According to the Chronicle, the petitioners, whose names it was withholding for fear of reprisal, also queried why an amount of 10,000 Ghana cedis was taken from COSGA accounts in 2006 to renovate the MUSIGHA headquarters for the Ghana@50 celebrations. According to the concerned petitioners, Gamogram Trust Ghana Limited, which was formed by the interim administration, sold over nine million gamogram stickers, at a cost of 30 Ghana cedis each, meaning about 270,000 Ghana cedis was realized from the transaction, but no accounts have been made to date. Also to be investigated, are the proceeds of millions of blank cassettes, and CD levies collected by the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), and allegedly paid to the interim administration, because no proper accounts had been made. The concerns of the group stemmed from the passage of a copyright legislation recently, which has separated the administration of the music-related works, from other works that fall under the copyright law, as a result of which a new Music Copyright Association of Ghana (M-COSGA) has been formed.
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