The government of President William Ruto has moved to make the lives of Kenyans even more difficult despite burdening us with heavy taxes.

This is after the government, through the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), informed restaurant owners that they needed a licence to be able to play music on their business premises.

According to KECOBO, restaurant owners should apply for business licenses through Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).

Restaurant owners need to make their application through the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) which is a CMO representing authors, composers, and publishers of musical works.

According to KECOBO, playing music on business premises without a CMO licence, the offender shall be liable to pay a fine not exceeding Ksh500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or both.

According to MCSK, the licence covers the performances of music and audiovisual works provided by means of radio receiving sets, disc players, tape machines, video cassette players, television, and similar devices including digitized music, as background performances in all the commonly controlled areas of restaurants, cafes, bars, casinos and other similar food, gaming and liquor retailing establishments.

To calculate the amount of cash each hotel must pay, KECOBO takes into account the percentage of the sum of the cost of a single business permit and the cost of a liquor licence or percentage of a single business permit alone in the absence of the liquor licence, subject to a minimum flat rate.

As such, hotels in Kenya pay 80 per cent of the sum of the cost of a single business permit and the liquor license.

Where there is no liquor license, the restaurant will pay 100 per cent of the cost of a single business permit.

According to MCSK, the amount paid should not be less than Ksh9,000 per annum which is the agreed minimum flat rate.

The amounts collected are distributed to musicians annually by MCSK.

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