Producers and Songwriters are some of the least appreciated but most deserving components in music. For many main acts, Producers and songwriters are the engines that drive success onto a musical project.
It’s sad that even in this day and age, these people don’t get their worth, they are oftenly taken advantage of without a competent force within themselves aswell as a less understanding of the music business. It’s from that note that, Singer Daddy Andre who doubles as a songwriter and producer sparked a war for the above rights.
In his submission via phonecall interview on NBS After 5 show, Andre, real name Andrew Ojambo lamented of how musicians in Uganda are less informed about how shares off a music project can be well split amongst all contributors. He further shared an excerpt of the Global Music law stating a share between all contributors.
With all this said, the big question that remains is, what does the Ugandan Law say about the share of an Author ( Songwriter ) and a producer of a music project?
Act 19, Section 9 and Act 19 Section 28 of the Copyright and Neighboring Act 2006 clearly elaborates the Economic Rights of both an Author and Producer respectively. Act 19 Section 40 stipulates remuneration (a) it’s that they shall earn from, ‘ proceeds from exploitation of work’
What that means is that if Daddy Andre the Songwriter wrote a song for a musician, he will be entitled to earn from it whenever that song is exploited. (b) a reasonable lump sum to off set the expenses of the work, plus reasonable profit.
This ideally is the money that musicians pay off to songwriters and producers and assume that they now own the rights to the all song, it has been the common practice but it’s wrong. This money is supposed to cater for things like time, power and good will.
However it’s also possible for writers and producers to request for a one off payment and transfer all there rights. For instance Wyclef Jean charges a one time fee for all his songs written and produced so that he doesn’t have to go into the mechanics of spread sheets at collecting societies.
In comes, CMOs in our case UPRS – Uganda Performing Rights Society.
Act 19 Section 57 provides for general issues relating to collecting societies, it’s through these societies that a system is set where each bundle of rights are rewarded in a spread sheet format
Anthony Mwanda, the CEO of UPRS had this to say,
“Producers and performers fall under neighbouring rights, composers/writers fall under copyright, then the percentages are on the bottom of that declaration form.”
What Needs to be done?
URSB – Uganda Registrations Services Bereau which is custodonian of the Copyright law needs to have regular sensitization meetings for both rights owners and users to close these information gaps.
UPRS – Uganda Performing Rights Society which was recently capitalized at a tune of 1billion Uganda shillings is supposed to be the lead agency to make sure that all key players under the value chain of the music project are equipped with this information.