A lot of innovating is happening around the country, from university students building robots that irrigate our crops to musicians and poets coming up with new ways to entertain us. We live in a world powered by the internet which is very good for most people but is turning out to be of a disadvantage to these briliant innovators in some way.
As part of my tribute to the fallen Ugandan musicians who I respect so much and think are the true examples of innovators and hustlers am going to appeal to the government and the Inspector General of Police in Uganda to enforce the copyright law.
If you take a typical example of a local artiste today and how they go about their career, you will be surprised at how little they make from their hit songs. If an Artiste Fox(Not real name) is starting out, they will depend on the already established artistes for ‘gigs’ and to cater for recording studios.
Fox will be paid per gig and trust me this amount can barely help Fox to survive but because he loves what he does, he will take up any gig to pay the bills.
If Fox is very lucky and he records a hit, the recording company will make a lot more money from Fox than he will make and this is fair because Fox has been using this recording studio with an understanding. We get to a point when Fox is a local celebrity and every song Fox makes is a hit.
At this point he can pay for studio and maybe he has a label, so he is not losing a lot of money through profit sharing, Fox has a fan base now, he organizes a concert and makes some good money. This is where copyright infringement starts.
The business people downtown, now get Fox’s music and start selling DVDs with Fox songs but Fox is not making any coin from this establishment. These people make more money from Fox’s Music than he can ever make and I agree they are promoting Fox in some way, but shouldn’t Fox be able to get some of this money?
We live in a connected world and I know some startups like Myziki have tried to take on this problem but with reduced enforcement from the government, there is little we can do about this problem.
This is why I appeal to the government of Uganda to enforce this law. It will put people out of jobs yes, but if they want to have a job, they should work with these artistes such that if in any way something unfortunate was to happen to these artistes, their families can still benefit from the money made from sales of their hit songs, long after they are gone.
I believe good governance is not only a process of setting up laws, but also enforcing them for the good of everyone.