1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Performers in Africa ask to be paid

The Ghana Association of Phonographic Industries (GAPI) is considering filing a legal suit against the Government of Ghana because government and other state institutions used Ghanaian music works without paying royalties. Project Coordinator for GAPI, Francis Mensah Twum told Adom Entertainment News the Information Services Department (ISD), and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) use Ghanaian music in their vans that go round to educate the public, but they do not pay royalties. GAPI also cited political parties for the same offence, saying that GAPI is speaking with its lawyers to prepare a legal suit against the offenders which, including the government.

Mr. Twum Mensah however noted that alternatively, government could support the forthcoming Copyright Bank/Fund with seed capital to compensate for the millions of cedis of accumulated in unpaid royalties it owed the industry. He explained that apart from government not paying royalties due the industry, government also delayed the passage of the Copyright Law, and it took another four years before it enacted the Legislative Instrument to make the law operational which “allowed piracy to continue and the industry lost an average of $30 million a year, which amounted to about a $400 million loss over the period,” he said

In Kenya, Music producers and performers including guitarists, drummists and dancers will start getting equal remuneration from television and radio royalties, if proposed changes in the copyright laws are passed. This will be the first time that dancers, guitarists and other instrumentalists will start earning royalties from their talents and from the works that they participate in. While proposing the new laws, Attorney-General Professor Githu Muigai has factored in the rise of public performances and use of video recordings by local musicians and producers without remunerating back-up artistes. Previously, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) collected royalties on behalf of composers and singers and left out the bulk of producers and acoustic players. Prof Muigai has proposed amendments to the Kenya Copyright Act 2001 (No 12 of 2001) by inserting a new clause (30A) which now gives music producers the right to claim and equitably share remuneration for sound recordings and visual works among themselves.



Image of a Mauritian sega drummer from http://www.edwebproject.org/mauritius/sega.html : The sega is the national dance a of Mauritius. Introduced by African slaves during the French colonial period, the sega is an exotic, often erotic dance. The dancers are backed a a group of drummers and other instrumentalists. 

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