The cliche of the struggling artist is a familiar one. But sadly it's true, especially in Africa, where many countries lack the regulatory structures to ensure that artists receive proper compensation for their work. Many musicians, whose songs we have danced to or sung along to with great fondness, have died penniless. In many cases, that's because they never received the royalties due to them.
In recent times we have witnessed musicians from different parts of the continent making concerted efforts to change this narrative. Kenya is one country where musicians and industry players have recently decided to fight back after decades of being short-changed. Inspired by their campaign, this month's theme looks at royalties. By all accounts, Kenyan artists have been done a great injustice by broadcasters who refuse to pay royalties, or are getting away with paying a minimal fee.
We compiled a selection of texts that deal with the topic of royalties across the continent.
- The problem with African royalty collection bodies
- Copyright, royalty collection and music piracy in Tanzania
- Kenyan music union urges president to push through copyright law
- How music royalties get distributed
- Copyrights, royalties and music piracy in Ethiopia
- Copyrights, royalties and music piracy in Congo-Brazzaville
- Copyrights, royalties and music piracy in Zambia
- Copyrights, royalties and music piracy in Rwanda
- Copyrights, royalties and music piracy in Swaziland
- Music piracy, copyrights and royalties in Ivory Coast
- Music piracy and royalty collection in Zimbabwe
- Copyrights and royalty collection in Ghana
- Malawi parliament passes new copyright bill
- Forum reveals progress and concerns facing Kenya’s music policy
- Kenyan president urges telcos to pay artists more for ringtones
- Kenya’s music industry is waking up to its potential
- Collecting society slams MTN for ‘not paying royalties since 2013’