Rex Omar: COSGA Is Dead, New Collection Society Is Coming Up

Musicians in Ghana are not too sure if they should rejoice over this news or perhaps they should cry over the possible problems this may create in the music industry if things are not done the right way. One of the biggest and longest problems the Ghana music industry has been facing for several years now is a professional and trusted body to collect royalties and share it accurately among music rights owners in Ghana, but if what ace Musician and music activist Rex Omar is saying is anything to go by, then this problem is long over. Rex thanked God for touching the heart of government, through the Attorney General, to dissolve the already existing Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) board. He said a new collection society solely for musicians, will soon be outdoored to handle all the affairs of music copyright and royalty distribution, adding that the new Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) executives, are going to see to it that this happens at all cost. The “Ashiekele” singer disclosed this during his speech presentation at the Re-registration exercise organized by MUSIGA at the National Theater last Wednesday October 13, 2011. “We thank God and the Interim Copyright Management Committee (ICMC) for seeing to the liquidation of COSGA, so as to be able to give room for the various sections to form their own collection societies ie: Book Publishers, all Music rights owners, Movie rights owners, Artists among others. Yes, COSGA is dead and a new one has been registered”. He revealed the name of the new society as Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO). Rex reiterated that as from now, this is what is going to represent COSGA but this is music biased because it is going to protect only music-related rights. “Unlike previously, when about 90% of all the monies that were coming to COSGA were coming from Musicians and yet was distributed for everybody (ie: Book Publishers, Music and Movie rights owners etc), we have fought so vehemently through government, and now we have GHAMRO”. He emphasized that the new collection society will soon be launched definitely before the end of this year. Other speakers who spoke at the exercise included: Video Director and Content Producer, Mr. Abraham Ohene Djan who is Chief Executive Officer of Ohene Media and Fiesta TV. During his presentation Mr. Ohene Djan lambasted some Television Stations in Ghana including State owned Ghana Television (GTV), for taking money from musicians before showing their music videos. Abraham said, this practice is very unprofessional and wrong because it is supposed to be the other way round. AB who is a member of Bice Obour Osei Kuffour’s administration, promised all musicians that they were going to make sure this practice was completely stopped in Ghana. Mr. Jonathan Cudjoe, a Copyright Advocate, spoke to the musicians about the benefits of a credible collection society, and urged all of them to register with GHAMRO which is being formed for rights to be protected both in Ghana and anywhere in the world. Ace Song Writer, Composer and singer, Nana Kwame Ampadu, also spoke with fellow musicians, commending them for supporting Obour and his new administration. He described anybody who is against Obour as a hater of the music industry. He stated that Obour is young but with the advice and support from him and other veteran Musicians, Obour will defiantly change the life of Ghanaian musicians. Overwhelmed with turn out for the exercise, Nana Ampadu said his eyes were filled with tears of joy because he had never seen musicians in active participation for any MUSIGA activity like they did that day. He kept telling the crowd that Obour would deliver.