In a recent discussion held on 19 October, the Pan African Network for Creative Freedom (PANAF) and Pearlwood organised an online chatroom event titled ““The State of Artists’ Remuneration in Uganda.” The discussion adressed critical issues that artists face in obtaining fair compensation for their creative endeavors.
Key challenges surfaced during the dialogue, with participants identifying several critical issues. Foremost among them was the perceived lack of enforceable laws regulating artists’ income. The consensus among participants was that, both in Uganda and globally, the focus tends to gravitate towards revenue flow and taxation, often overshadowing the need for effective legal frameworks that safeguard the fundamental rights of artists.
The poor enforcement of copyright laws emerged as another noteworthy challenge. Participants underscored the vulnerability of artists in Uganda due to inadequate mechanisms for enforcing copyright, leaving them open to various forms of exploitation. Moreover, concerns were raised about the government’s reluctance to formalize the arts industry, with some participants speculating that this hesitation might be attributed to the perceived influence of artists engaging in national politics.
Issues specific to the music industry were also discussed, such as the misuse of artists’ songs as caller ringback tones by telecom companies. Participants lamented the negligible compensation artists receive for such uses and called for practical solutions to rectify this long standing issue.
In response to these challenges, the participants collectively proposed several recommendations and solutions. Foremost among them was the call for legal reforms and more robust enforcement mechanisms, aiming to protect artists’ rights and ensure fair compensation for their creative work. The importance of government involvement was also emphasized, with participants urging increased funding for the art sector and comprehensive research into successful revenue models employed by other countries.
Additionally, recommendations included raising awareness and conducting educational seminars for artists on income-generating opportunities and strategies for attracting sponsors. Transparent and fair contracts between artists and broadcasters were deemed essential, with participants stressing the need to scrutinize and clarify terms to ensure equitable compensation for both parties.
As the discussion concluded, participants were encouraged to continue contributing to the ongoing dialogue, fostering collaborative efforts to create a fair and sustainable ecosystem for the arts industry in Uganda.
The next chatroom session will feature creatives from Nigeria on 23 November.
To register for the session, click here.
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