Malawi told to emulate US copyright legislation

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Amid lots of copyright violation of music in this internet era, a  social commentator has advised Malawian authorities to emulate United States of America copyright legislation aimed at fighting copyright violations.

On Thursday, October 11, US President Donald Trump signed the Music Modernization Act which will be driven by the need to update and streamline music licensing processes for the streaming era.

Lucius Banda

Lucius: hopes similar legislation would be passed in Malawi

It is reported that this has been facilitated by the fact that more musicians worldwide are finding it difficult to collect the royalties owed to them from streams on Spotify and other platforms and this has become the most significant copyright law change in decades.

The bill received unanimous support from  lawmakers and its passage had been awaited by the music industry for several years.

Kenani noted that Malawian musicians are also suffering from copyright violations hence need to adopt what America has done for the betterment of Malawi’s music industry.

He further said the biggest threat to copyright are applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram and Signal since they have the capability to dub and distribute sound.

“Maybe we could emulate this in Malawi? I see lots of copyright violation for music in this internet era. Instead of people buying music from O.G. Karim’s music store, they get it for free on their apps. The musician’s sweat goes unrewarded in the process,” said Kenani.

The US Music Modernization Act accomplishes three main tasks which include streamlining the process by which music rights holders can be paid for their songs being played on streaming services.

It includes song producers in payment for when songs are played over satellite and online radio, the first time producers have ever been mentioned in a bill of this sort.

Finally, it also allows for payment of royalties for songs written before 1972, to both songwriters and performers.

Commenting on the matter was Malawi’s music icon, Lucius Banda, who said if the act is adopted here in Malawi, music veterans would get back to the music industry.

He said: “If only this kind of legislation would pass in our house. May be some of us would go back to our beloved job of music.”

 

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