Kota Kinabalu: Music Rights Sabah (MRS) Berhad, the Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for Sabah and Labuan, will receive a payment of RM84,220 from the State Kaamatan Organising Committee, this year.
State Kaamatan Main Organising Committee Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the payment is for the licensing of the usage of Sabah and Labuan local ethnic songs or music throughout this year’s Kaamatan celebration.
“The Committee is concerned with the rights of local artists which had not been duly defended for more than 30 years,” he said during a courtesy call by an MRS delegation in his office, here, Wednesday.
To this end, MRS Managing Director Asmin Mudin thanked the State Government through the State Kaamatan Main Organising Committee for scrutinising and supporting the CMO’s effort.
“Even though this is still new for us in Sabah, but with the agreement achieved today (Wednesday), this can be deemed as a door-opener for the State’s music industry development.”
Through the licensing, he said, Sugandoi Kaamatan contestants, performers and organisers of Kaamatan celebrations in 34 districts and seven Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) branches in Malaysia are allowed to use local ethnic songs registered under MRS without any hesitation.
“This also includes Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan events, Kaamatan concerts or open karaoke joints in stalls throughout the celebration.
“However, the licensing is not valid for Kaamatan celebrations that are not organised by the State Government or KDCA,” he said.
MRS, he said, also commended the initiative taken by the State Kaamatan Main Organising Committee, describing it as a good example for other event organisers, in terms of the morality and responsibility in safeguarding the rights of local artists.
It was reported, last year, that MRS had submitted a ‘blanket’ invoice of RM97,600 for the Kaamatan celebration to the State Main Kaamatan Organising Committee.
However, during a meeting with Jeffrey on April 22, 2022, they were informed that the budget for last year’s Kaamatan celebration had been finalised before the Committee received MRS’ invoice.
Nevertheless, Jeffrey was reported as expressing his support for the CMO’s effort.
MRS started its operation in Sabah and Labuan officially on Sept 1, last year, following its recognition from the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) as a legitimate CMO for Sabah and Labuan, effective Jan 7. Its operation involves various sectors such as commercial premises, single events and new media, and the implementation will be conducted in phases.
At the moment, MRS has 410 members which comprises composers, lyricists, music arrangers, musicians, singers, music video producers and publishers, with 2,679 registered songs.
The other CMOs in the country are the Music Authors’ Copyright Protection (MACP), Public Performance Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PPM), Recording Performers Malaysia Berhad (RPM) and Music Rights Sarawak Berhad (MRSB).
MACP, PPM and RPM each represent a distinct and separate category of music copyright owners – MACP represents composers, authors and publishers, PPM represents master recording owners, and RPM represents recording performers.
MRSB functions the same as MRS but for Sarawakian local ethnic songs and music.
— Ricardo Unto