New copyright law targets venues playing foreign music


A new copyright proposal in the hands of the Attorney General that will soon be sent to the Council of Ministers would create a new regulation that would charge royalty payments from TV and radio stations, night clubs, bars, buses and other venues using local and foreign music for commercial purposes.
However, the foreign music royalty payment would only be charged if the foreign collection agency has a representative of a local company to administer the music and enforce the copyright agreement with the original user. If the venue plays music without the approval the collection agency may revoke licenses and fine the organization.
For example if an FM station plays a Michael Jackson song and if the company who administers the song has a representative in Ethiopia, the radio station, or business (which includes bars and shops) or a company producing physical products (CD’s etc) wants to play or sell music, they must buy a license from the agent to play the music.
The draft which is expected to be implemented in the next five years will charge the user to pay the royalty payment based on the tariff and agreement made between the user and the administrators.
The draft which is also applicable for local music will also give a mandate for a copyright collecting agency to receive the royalty payment from the commercial user.
Axum T/Haimnaot copyright protection expert at the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office told Capital that the royalty payment will add something in enhancing creativity work.
“FM radio stations are covering 70 percent of their programs with music but they don’t pay anything to the singer, composer and song writers for the music they fill the air with. The draft regulation is all about that, at least to charge them to something to motivate musicians to do more jobs and to expand their income.’’

He added that the draft regulation will also encompass the right of groups to form any collection agency.
“The pervious draft allowed only one collection agency to deal with the singers but the improved one allows the establishment of multiple collection agencies. The musician will select an agency who works for them the best,” he said. “The agency will collect your money on your behalf if you have a contract or agreement with them.”
According to Axum the revised regulation which has yet to be ratified also prepared to pay a resell payment of art works from five up to seven percent to the original painter or writer of a book.
Article 11 of the Ethiopian copyright proclamation No.410/2004 allows the reproduction of a work by persons other than the owner for the purpose of teaching.
Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) is also waiting the approval the Council of Ministers which protects foreign works from translating, adaptation and arrangement without the proper permission.