Whichever way the music industry goes, LIcencing and Copyright Ownweship will always remain

By Phillip Nyalenda

Music industry, being one of those that have embraced technology, remains to change in many ways. Be it production, marketing & promotion, sales & distribution or even rights management, technology has remained one of the drivers of this creative industry. The industry will continue to change and this trend is worrying to many stakeholders who seemingly fear investing in long-term systems that may become irrelevant over time. Whether or not you are progressive, one thing will for sure remain, copyrights, licencing and rights, the difference being only in the way they will be administered.
Copyrights is an intellectual property and its ownership is proved by the certificates that the Kenya Copyrights Board issues on application. Ownership of such copyrights can also be ensured by a publishing agreement between a publisher and songwriter or through a sale agreement. One can sell his/her rights to their music or composition to a third party who then becomes the new owner. Still one can become an owner of such rights if they sign an exclusive licencing deal with the copyright owner.
All these cases just illustrate one point: music copyrights is the future of this industry. One therefore needs to be very careful when signing contracts that may lead to them signing away rights to their intellectual property. If some day in the future music will be completely free, and this is almost practically impossible, copyrights will still be very important since one can use it to bargain in merchandising deals, for example.
It is therefore important for musicians to either get a publisher or ensure that they get their business right. Mechanical and performance rights are collected by the relevant societies that the musicians have joined and these monies reach them directly or through their publisher. Synchronization rights will mostly be handled by the artist/band’s management. So get your business in order to benefit, even in the future.

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