Copyright rules define much of the music business, shaping the practices that drive recording and touring deals.  Copyright is a form a legal protection given to variety of created works such as musical work, artistic work, dramatic and literary works.  For the work to be legally protected it needs to be original in a manner that it has not been copied or reproduced in either ways, have been fixed in a tangible medium of expression that it exists in a reasonable and stable form to the extent that one can perceive it and reproduce it, and to have a minimum degree of creativity meaning that it must result from creativity of maker.

Well the rights of Music composers in Tanzania are exposed to the legal protection of the authors/composers of musical work and other related works is provided for under section 5 (1) of The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, 1999 which states that the author of literary and artistic work shall lie entitled to copyright protection for their I works under this Act, by the sole fact of the creation of such works.

Many artists have very little information regarding copyright, or worse, rely on knowledge about rules that have changed dramatically in the past quarter century. Rights of Music composers in Tanzania include economic rights and moral rights as provided for under the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, 1999.

These Rights of Music composers in Tanzania can be viewed under Section 9 of the Act provides for economic rights of the composers/ author which include the following

  • Reproduction of the Work that is rights to make copies of the work, such as the right to manufacture compact discs containing copyrighted sound recordings
  • Distribution of Copies of the Work. This implies right to distribute and sell copies of the work to the public.
  • The rental of the original or a(c) audio-visual work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer program, a database, or a musical work in the form of notation, irrespective of the ownership of the original or copy concerned.
  • Public exhibition of the work which means that the composer have right to control the exhibition of their works in different areas such as nightclubs, television, radio, in commercial establishments etc.
  • Translation of the work.
  • Adaptation of the work.
  • Public performance of the work that is right to control as to have their works performed publicly in different venues.
  • Broadcasting of the work that may be in the radio or television
  • Other communication to the public of the work, and
  • Importation of copies of their work.

However, no one can do any of the above without the permission or authorization (usually given in a license) of the owner of the copyright.

For a new song or other work, copyright begins at the moment of fixation — when the music and lyrics have been set down on paper, recorded, or stored on a computer. The copyright in the composition is distinct from the copyright in the sound recording. Generally speaking, the sound recording can be thought of as the master ( the recorded performance of the composition.) When registering a newly published song, the musician should be sure to protect the copyright in the composition separately from the copyright in the sound recording.    This is very important in terms of protection of the works

The moral rights of the composers/ authors  are provided for under section 11 of  The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act to include  claiming authorship of their work in particular that their authorship be indicated in connection with any of their rights, and objecting  and seeking relief in any action which is likely to prejudice their honor or reputation.

Any infringement of the rights of the composers/ authors of musical work amounts to infringement of rights and therefore results to legal action.

The registration of published music or recordings has a number benefits such as the right to seek lawyer fees and statutory damages. Registration will be required prior to filing a lawsuit to enforce the copyright.

Well the Rights of music composers in Tanzania in reference to the copyright in the composition is managed by Record Rebels but it is best to be managed by the music publishing companies while the sound recordings are managed by the record labels. Music publishers may provide value for composers because these companies seek to promote the use of compositions in their catalog for use in films, television, advertising, ringtones in addition to sheet music and music books. The publisher would generally receive fifty percent of the composition revenue in exchange for these services. The publisher will manage the sales of the composition and typically handle all the copyright registration and deposit requirements through the lawyers like Abc Attorneys.

With regard to the foreign jurisdiction and Tanzania on rights of composers, there is similarity on various things such as economic rights and moral rights of the composers in music industry are almost the same the same with slight difference as other jurisdiction moral rights include; right of attribution, right not to be falsely attributed, and right of integrity.. (From American Society of Composers. Authors and Publishers ASCAP 200,), and Lawyers for the Creative Arts Guide.

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