Speaker Rebecca Kadaga wants the government to implement the copyright law to benefit musicians who she says do not substantially benefit from their work.
Kadaga, who was meeting Uganda’s international music star Edrisa Musuuza aka Eddy Kenzo, said she had asked the Attorney General to explain government’s delays in implementing section 82 of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law which caters for the work done by musicians.
“Two weeks ago, I asked the Attorney General to come to Parliament to explain why section 82 of the copyright act has not been implemented because it protects your work,” Kadaga said during the meeting on Monday, 03 January 2020.
According to Section 82 of the Act, the Minister of Justice may, on the recommendation of the Registrar General and after consultation with the established collecting societies make regulations generally for the better carrying into effect of the provisions of the Act and to prescribe or provide for anything required or authorized to be prescribed or provided under the Act.
Kadaga said that despite its enactment in 2006, performing artists, designers and authors still witness high levels of piracy in their industry because of failure of the Minister to establish a collecting society.
Kenzo visited the Speaker to update her on progress in his music career.
Kadaga who confessed to be a fan of the artiste was thrilled on learning the magnitude of the work done by Kenzo in empowering children from slum areas or ghettos and promoting Uganda worldwide through his music.
“What you have done is a lot; thank you for showing the world that living in a ghetto doesn’t stop one from becoming productive,” she said.
She was, however, concerned with the vast talent in the music industry which has gone untapped and proposed that government should consider a separate Ministry in charge of the industry. This she added she would henceforth be the advocate on behalf of musicians.
Musuuza said a separate Ministry in charge of the music industry is likely to put to better use the many talented musicians whose work lies idle.
“My music is now playing in many countries; even people who do not know Luganda listen to it. Imagine if government grooms other Kenzos” said Musuuza.
He asked Kadaga to use her position to urge the government to recognize artists, whose work has sold Uganda abroad, saying through his music many tourists have come to Uganda.
On the copyright law, Musuuza was glad that the speaker is fighting for its implementation saying that many musicians create songs but still remain poor. He observed that instead music users make more money from it than the originators.
“For me I get food from my music, I am able to fend for my family but not all musicians are, some only stop at entertaining you but have nothing,” he said