Well, Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), Rex Omar, has been responding to these mind boggling issues.
In an interview with MzGee, He explained that members of the Organization were still entitled to receiving royalties even after 70-years of their death. Rex Omar mentioned the likes of Ephraim Amu as among the people whose families were still receiving royalties.
“According to the Ghanaian copyright law, you own your right even 70 years after your death. If you own a work and it is protected under copyright and you belong to a collective management organization in Ghana, even 70 years after your death you will continue to receive your royalties. We have various examples in GHAMRO. We have people who are dead and gone and we still pay their royalties to their families and their descendants. We have Dr. Ephraim Amu as an example”
Speaking on the case of Castro, the GHAMRO boss, said that he could not readily indicate whether or not the musician is a registered member of the Organization.
According to him Castro’s family can still get the musician registered with GHAMRO so they can receive royalties, if he is not already registered.
“Right now, I don’t know off hand if Castro was a GHAMRO member. If he was a GHAMRO member, definitely, he will continue to receive royalties. If he wasn’t a GHAMRO member, nothing stops his family to still come and register his works with GHAMRO and assign their rights to GHAMRO and they would start receiving royalties as supposed to,”
He doesn’t find it worrying that that he is unable to state whether Castro is indeed a member of GHAMRO insisting its not a big deal
“It shouldn’t be disturbing. GHAMRO has over 4,000 members. I am the chairman and I wouldn’t know every member of GHAMRO. It is not my business to know every member of GHAMRO. The most important thing is I would have to go and find out from our record membership department whether Castro is a member. We call him Castro but is his real name Castro? You cannot come and sign with your artistic name or stage name, you have to give you real name so I may not know
Whilst Rex Omar says that it is not his business to know all members of GHAMRO, he was however quick to indicate that rapper Sarkodie was not in GHAMRO’s books.