The Bench


Find out more about  licensing.

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Q: What is equitable remuneration?
A: For many years Kenyan composers and authors have received royalties from the broadcast or public performance of their songs. These royalties are collected by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).The Copyright Act, has since been amended to acknowledge the essential contribution of producers and performers of sound recordings and audio visual works in the creation of recorded music by including a right to equitable remuneration for both the performers and producers, which is in line with international best practices. The rights to equitable remuneration are the rights of performers (including featured performers, background musicians etc.) and producers to be paid fairly for the broadcast and communication to the public of their works.
Q: Why do I need a License for Communication to the Public of Sound Recordings and Audio Visual Works?
A: Recorded music is increasingly being used to enhance businesses in retail outlets, shopping malls, restaurants, pubs, entertainment spots, public transport sector, broadcasting stations, etc. It is generally accepted worldwide that the use of these recordings as piped background music creates the suitable ambience and entertains patrons, employees and employers alike in the business premises. These recordings whether played from a computer source, jukebox, radio, cassette player, TV, CD player, VCD or DVD player, MP3 player, satellite, internet broadcast or any other analogue or digital medium or format are protected properties of the music producers and performers. Using these recordings in your business premises therefore, requires you to have a communication to the public license. Producers and performers of sound recordings and audio visual works hold the right of remuneration when recordings are used for broadcasting and/or communication to the public.
Q: Who should apply for a KAMP-PRISK license?
A: A broadcaster or the owner of the premises where sound recordings and audio visual works are made audible to the public. In some cases the organizer of an event, rather than the owner of the premises, can be licensed. If you have any questions about who should apply, please contact us.
Q: How much does a License for Communication to the Public of Sound Recordings and Audio Visual Works cost?
A: There are different tariffs applicable to different uses of sound recordings and audio visual works. For example the cost of a License for Communication to the Public of Sound Recordings and Audio Visual Works in establishments varies depending on whether there is background or featured use of sound recordings and audio visual works, the area where sound recordings and audio visual works are rendered audible and the average attendance per week. In the transport sector the tariff is charged per seat. KAMP-PRISK license fees are charged on an annual basis and payable annually. Licenses can also be obtained for short-term events. Please contact our offices to establish your tariff.
Q: Is there any legal requirement to pay KAMP-PRISK license fees?
A: Yes. The Kenya Copyright Act 2001, of the laws of Kenya imposes an obligation on those who wish to broadcast, communicate to the public or diffuse protected sound recordings, to pay a license fee to the relevant copyright holder(s). If you do not obtain a KAMP-PRISK license, you will be infringing these copyright holders’ rights when you broadcast or communicate to the public, any of their sound recordings and audio visual works.
Q: What are the consequences of operating a business without an appropriate license?
A: A business broadcasting or involved in communication to the public of any sound recordings and/or audio visual works should take up an appropriate KAMP-PRISK license failure to which can cause KAMP-PRISK to take legal action to recover any damages suffered and/or stop the continued infringement.
Q: What does “communication to the public” mean?
A: Communication to the public is simply understood as playing of sound recordings and/or audio visual works in public (i.e. in a non-domestic environment). Further it also has an element of business value addition, where the playing of these recordings enhances the customer’s experience and as such increases the business revenue. Communication to the public occurs irrespective of whether the music is rendered audible at no charge (e.g. Radio/ TV) or whether there is an admission fee or not.
Q: I pay MCSK for broadcast and public performance rights? What is the difference?
A: In Kenya, MCSK used to grant licenses to users for the broadcast and public performance of copyright in musical works in its repertoire, and distribute royalties to music publishers and songwriters / or composers. KAMP and PRISK on the other hand, deal purely with the recorded performance hereby known as sound recordings. KAMP grants licenses for the broadcast, diffusion and communication to the public of the sound recordings and/or audio visual works and distributes royalties to record companies and producers. On the other hand, PRISK grants licenses for the broadcast, diffusion and communication to the public of the performance in the sound recordings and/or audio visual works and distributes royalties to the performers (vocalists, featured / background musicians, instrumentalists, etc.) who took part in the specific recordings. KAMP and PRISK have joined efforts to issue a single license. This license is separate from MCSK’s.
Q: Is a KAMP-PRISK license required for live music performances?
A: No. KAMP-PRISK only grant a license when the sound recordings and audio visual works are played through CDs, DVDs, MP3s, etc. or broadcast through Radio and TV. KAMP-PRISK do NOT grant licenses for live performances UNLESS there is use of the sound recordings by a DJ during the said performance and thereby communicated to the public. If this occurs, then a KAMP-PRISK license shall be required.
Q: I only play music from the radio; do I still need a license?
A: Yes. You require a KAMP-PRISK license for sound recordings and/or audio visual works if you render such recordings audible in public by means of audio services on radio or television at your business premises. A broadcaster pays for the broadcast of the sound recordings and audio visual works while further communication to the public attracts a separate license. It is important to note that broadcasting and communication to the public are two distinctive rights that exist independently. You will also need a KAMP-PRISK license if you are using recordings as part of a telephone “on-hold” system.
Q: Should I notify PRISK if I am the new owner of a business and use sound recordings and/or audio visual works?
A: Yes. As the new owner, you have to ensure that you are complying with all legislation applicable to your business, including the Copyright Act 2001. You should ensure that all the appropriate licenses are in place. The KAMP-PRISK license is not transferable between owners of businesses.
Q: I am an event organizer or promoter. Do I need a license?
A: It depends on whether the venue in which you are holding the event is sufficiently licensed for that event. By way of example: if a license has been issued for music on hold on your switchboard, it will not be deemed to cover a disco party. If the event is not sufficiently licensed (or not licensed at all), you are exposed to the risk of copyright infringement. Please contact us to discuss the event you are organizing and we will ensure that your event is correctly licensed for the use of sound recordings and/or audio visual works.
Q: There are regular dance parties at our hotel but we do not organize them – we just provide the premises but do not collect any takings. Why should we pay KAMP-PRISK fees?
A: If dance parties are held at your premises, it is your responsibility as the owner of the premises to ensure that the appropriate licenses are in place before the event takes place. Owners of clubs and pubs sometimes pass the cost of the license fee and other fees on to the organizer of the function. If you choose to do so then, that is a matter to be decided between you and the relevant organizer.
Q: I run a nightclub or premises for hire; is the DJ not already covered?
A: If the nightclub is sufficiently licensed for dancing and the number of days per year on which dancing takes place, then any DJ working solely in that club or any other properly licensed club would not require a separate license. If the DJ is either a mobile DJ operator or plays in unlicensed premises, then a separate DJ license is required.
Q: I paid for the CDs, Why do I need a KAMP-PRISK license to play them in my business?
A: Since the earliest days of commercially released sound recordings and audio visual works, a notice along the following lines has been printed on original tapes, records and CDs or the accompanying booklets or sleeves: “Unauthorised copying, hiring, public performance and broadcasting of this recording is prohibited”. Even in the absence of these ubiquitous notices, the provisions of the Copyright Act 2001 make it quite clear that the purchaser, or holder in good faith, of a sound carrier like a CD, does not acquire the rights to broadcast, diffuse and communicate to the public the sound recordings that have been acquired, but that these rights are, in fact, held by the copyright and related rights holders.
Q: How does music add value to the organisations that are licensed by KAMP-PRISK?
A: The use of music provides significant value to businesses, broadcasters and other organisations. This has been validated by research in other countries. For example, in UK the Music Works study found that 94% of UK bar-goers say background music is either a very important or important factor in giving bars a great atmosphere. For fitness clubs, 77% of respondents agreed that a gym with music was more appealing to them than a gym without. Details of the study and many other statistics on the value of music business can be found at >>If you have any other questions concerning the Communication To The Public License send them to the email addresses or
Q. Does KAMP-PRISK collect and distribute for performers in other countries other than Kenya?
A. KAMP-PRISK are mandated to license users of SR and AV within the Republic of Kenya under Equitable Remuneration Rights (Sec 30 A). Even though KAMP-PRISK do not currently have reciprocal agreements with other CMOs, it should be noted that the tariffs are not based on quantity of usage hence whether one plays only one (1) local song in a year, they would still be required to pay the license fee based on the existing tariffs. Further users are required to take out a license with KAMP-PRISK prospectively. KAMP-PRISK tariffs are not subject to regulation by any other CMO within or without the Republic of Kenya.

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