Africa Gets Bitten By Copyright Bug, Too
“Since Uganda’s first FM radio station hit the airwaves, DJs and presenters have been broadcasting music without paying artistes’ royalties. The stage is set for a major showdown between Uganda’s FM radio station owners and artistes over payment of music royalties.
“For more than a decade, ever since Uganda’s first FM radio station hit the airwaves, DJs and radio presenters have been broadcasting music without paying artistes’ royalties to the performers, composers and so on. “By playing their music,” radio owners argue, “we are promoting them.” Some DJs say that artistes often bring their CDs to the radio stations, lobbying for their music to be played for free.
“Artistes now say the radio stations are reaping advertising revenue by playing their popular music, for which they are not paid. With the recently passed Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2006, artistes may at last be able to reap from their sweat by asking radio stations to pay royalties every time they play a song. The law, which only awaits the president’s assent to come into force, criminalises infringement on copyrighted works by way of reproduction, distribution or broadcast.
Frank Sserwaniko. Uganda: New Copyright Law to Protect Musicians. The East African. June 13, 2006.
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