In move to avert piracy and advocate against extortion of their Intellectual Property (IP), Rwandan artistes have formed an umbrella, Rwandan Society of Authors’ (RSAU).
According to Epaphrodite Binamungu, the chairman of RSAU, the association is supported by the ministries of Sports and Culture, and that of trade together with Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
“It is just the beginning, but the society will grow stronger to effectively protect artistes’ pieces and realising the actual sense of selling and earning from their artefacts,” Binamungu said in an interview with The New Times yesterday.
He said that among attributions of the organisation will include fighting piracy of artistes’ pieces on their behalf and monitoring and collecting payments for artists when their pieces are used for public consumption.
“Whether artistes’ pieces will be used for publicity or not should be in agreement between the two parties,” Binamungu added.
However he added that the society’s priority is to create awareness of the existing intellectual property law to both artists and all consumers of their products. This will be followed by negotiating on artists’ behalf what percentage they have to be paid basing on international standards.
James Wasula, the General Secretary of Uganda Performance Right Society (UPRS) told The New Times yesterday that even though Uganda’s artistes seem to have advanced in music, most of them are ignorant of the intellectual property law in Uganda.
He however added that the audio and video artistes who have registered with the society have received a growth in their income from their art, especially those whose work is aired on electronic media.
Wasula noted that there was still a long way to go since of the over 200 Radios in Uganda, only 15 have adhered to the law and have started paying artistes whose music is played on their airwaves.
Public consumption includes art work consumed in discotheques, airplanes, Radios and Television stations and any other public places like shopping malls.
Under the Berne Convention, authors have the exclusive right to authorize public performance, broadcasting and communication of their works to the public.