Copyright, royalties and piracy are some of the most talked about subjects in the African music industry. Unfortunately, the conversations around these topics are often negative, and with good reason.

Creators of musical works in Africa are arguably the worst hit in terms of royalty pay-outs for their creative efforts. This problem can be laid at the feet of many reprimandable collective management organisations (CMOs) operating across the African continent. These organisations, often mandated by equally corrupt governments, have time and again proved their incompetency in paying artists their dues and in the process rendered the musical profession as one defined by hard-working, talented individuals on the breadline.

But musicians in Africa also have a duty to educate themselves about intellectual property so they can fight for what is rightfully theirs. It is often a lack of knowledge in copyright jurisprudence among creators that allows CMO officials to line their pockets unchecked. Music consumers, too, have a duty to pay for the music they listen to if they don’t want to be complicit in a system that robs musicians of their livelihoods.

As things stand, the copyright, royalties and piracy space in most African countries needs urgent reform if we are ever to take real pride in our industry going forward.

Below is a list of some of the English content already on the site that is relevant to the subject of copyrights, royalties and piracy – essential reading for anyone involved in the African music industry. We have commissioned Overview texts and useful resources covering the legislative and administrative practices in many African countries and will be adding news, features and other resources as the month progresses.

Overview texts

Other resources

New and features


Repost from Music in Africa 

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