BINDURA Country Club hall was last week temporarily turned into a lecture theatre as artsites across genres and stakeholders in the creative industry gathered for a copyrights awareness workshop hosted by Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura).
A music composers and publishers association, Zimura was established in 1982 to protect the rights of musicians and publishers under the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act [Chapter 26:05].
Zimura is affiliated to the Confederation of International Societies of Authors and Composers based in Paris, France, and is also registered with the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office under the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs ministry.
Guests who attended the workshop were enlightened on various issues that included intellectual property rights in music, Zimura membership and distribution, the role of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in the music industry, the role of the city council and its licensing procedure.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the workshop, some artistes said the workshop was an eye-opener as it enlightened them on issues concerning copyright law and intellectual property rights.
“I thank Zimura for organising such a workshop which was valuable to our careers as artistes. It was an eye-opener as I learned a lot about copyright law and intellectual property rights. From the workshop, I have come to appreciate that an idea alone is not yours before you own it, you have to register it,” said traditional singer-cum-filmmaker Angeline “Mamoreyour” Mabika.
Frank Chihudye, who fronts Black Masters band, said: “This workshop was quite insightful to us having that chance and opportunity to learn about copyright law and intellectual property rights as well as what it means to be an artiste in this showbiz industry.
“Here in Bindura, there is a lot of talent, but we are always on the sidelines of many activities as there are few promoters who are passionate to identify and promote talent. We are always yearning for the opportunity to showcase our talent.”
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Anesu Godo of 2Ten Entertainment, who is also the manager of Tatenda “Gunduman” Mutsvaire and gospel singer Kudai Exodus Makurira, said: “No doubt, the workshop has been of benefit and an eye-opener as I was enlightened on the legal perspective regarding copyright law and the benefits of joining Zimura. I have come to understand more of Zimura’s operations apart from handling artistes’ royalties.”
Zimura executive director Polisile Ncube-Chimhini said a lot of artistes were unaware of copyright laws and as a result, they were either prejudiced or unknowingly committed intellectual property crimes.
“We have a mandate of protecting the rights of composers and publishers of music. We are optimistic that these copyright awareness workshops will enlighten both the musicians and stakeholders on copyright law and intellectual property rights issues,” she said.
As part of the workshops, Zimura will be going across the country’s 10 provinces educating artistes and music industry stakeholders about its operations and the benefits of becoming a member of the organisation.
Apart from handling artistes’ royalties, Zimura also offers services such as funeral policy, gratuity fund, free legal assistance/and representation and free copyright education.