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Infringe copyright and face criminal charges

The Recording Artist Industry of Namibia last week held a press conference aimed at bringing together recording artists, producers and other stakeholders in the music industry. Chief Executive Officer of Blend Productions Robert Shipanga expressed his concern over copyright, mirroring the sentiment amongst performing artists over the unlawful trade in their intellectual property.
Shipanga said “Many artists are facing challenges with the copyright of their music, especially when it comes to jukebox owners playing their music. The jukebox owners keep the earnings to themselves and this discourages artists to market their music digitally”.
“Many artists in the country face the challenge of having sub-standard products on the market as well as piracy which leads to a loss in investment. RINA is urging jukebox box owners to refrain from illegitimately copying CD’s onto their jukebox boxes without the artisats consent. Permission or a Mechanical Rights licence from the record company of the artist that controls the copy right in the sound recordings is required in order to copy music onto a jukebox.”
Club owners and Disc Jockeys (DJs) are warned to equip themselves with a Public Performers Licence and an identification card for DJs to operate. DJs who do not obtain a licence will be charged criminally and could face imprisonment of up to 3 years or N$12 000 fine for first time offenders, and up to 4 years imprisonment or a N$12,000 to N$20,000 fine or both for repeated offenders.
RINA’ said it’s main aim is to bring artists, record labels and producers together under different branches which have been set up to assist musicians and help the music industry in the country reach greater heights. “The Producers Guild, Managers Forum, DJ’s Association, the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM), the Oruuano Artist Union and the Namibian Music Industry Union and the Mechanical Rights Body are working together to bring unity in the music industry as well as making it a more profitable industry for all stakeholders involved.”

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