Artists under their umbrella body the National Culture Forum (NCF) have petitioned the newly appointed Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Norbert Mao to intervene in the sharing of revenue resulting from Caller Ring Back Tunes-CRBTs.
A letter dated 12th April 2022, reads that even though artists own the content, their share of revenue generated amounts to a paltry Shs 12.6 or 1.8% which is not commensurate with the investment that they put in to create their works.
The letter goes on to stipulate that there are some cases where artists’ works have been provided to telecom companies without their authorization or remuneration to the concerned artists something which borders on piracy.
Other members of the CRBTs value chain and their share includes government 50%, telecoms 35%, and aggregators 13.2%.
Artists believe this rate is exploitative and that they never participated in the negotiation even when the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act empowers them to.
They have asked the Minister to:
- Issue a statutory instrument on the sharing of revenue resulting from CRBTs by fixing artists’ share at 60% of the gross collections.
- Make artists, telecoms, and aggregators each responsible for paying their tax obligations on the resulting income/revenue.
- Move CRBTs from being charged on airtime to mobile money to enable artists to have a fair share of the resulting revenue.
- Audit and order telecoms to pull down any CRBTs content that infringes copyright.
- Empower the music collecting society to collect any additional royalties due to artists from the telecom carriers for CRBTs content.
The above measures will ensure that Ugandan artists are fairly remunerated and empowered to create better quality music that will dominate Africa and generate great wealth for the players.