Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in collaboration with Rwandan Society of Authors (RSAU) have announced that people have been restricted to use artists’ songs for personal interests without payments , a decision to go into effect by July 2017.
The decision will also be extended to other artistic works to protect intellectual property and enhance owners’ progress like other businesses.
The CEO of RDB, Clare Akamanzi has said that artistes’ work has to be considered as his/her property and valued.
“We want artists generate income from released copyrighted content. We want to extend areas of intellectual property in the country where radios, hotels using artists’ music have to pay royalty fees. It will enhance the progress of the producer while generating income for the country,” she said.
She however explained that the amount such initiative will bring in the country’s GDP is not established noting that it contributed 10% to GDP of some countries like the United States.
Hotels, bars, nightclubs, radio stations, TV stations, transport agencies will have to pay fees in order to play copyrighted local music. Super markets among others using music for commercial purposes have to sign payment agreements with the Rwanda Society of Authors (RSAU) by July.
The CEO of RSAU, Bwiza Nadine said the cost is cheap as the minimum payment can be Rwf 200 per annum depending on how the artistic creation is used.
She explained that foreign countries playing Rwanda’s music will also pay.
“Other countries playing Rwanda’s songs will pay because we have agreements with some of them including Kenya and Nigeria. We will also do the same for their songs played in Rwanda,” she said.
The decision is based on the law N° 31/2009 of 26/10/2009 protecting intellectual property and follows recent allegations of Rwanda’s female artist Kayirebwa Cecile who accused RBA and Contact FM of uing her songs for private interests not benefiting the owner.