South Africa-Culture-Copyrights

S/Africa MPs pass bills to boost artists’ income, welfare

APA-Cape Town (South Africa)

South African artists, following years of being exploited over their artistic works, can now breathe a sigh of relief after parliament passed two bills to provide them with extra payment for their products, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has announced in Pretoria.

Launching September as Heritage Month in the capital on Friday, the minister said one of the areas where the artists and other creatives are going to benefit is for the remuneration of the repeat programmes that are broadcast on television.


This year’s Heritage Month is themed “Celebrating the Legacy of Solomon Linda and South Africa’s Indigenous Music.”


“In remembering the legacy of Solomon Linda, we are remembering South African creatives over the years and the current level of creativity among South African creatives,” Mthethwa said. 


“Baba Linda – the composer of the world-wide hit ‘Mbube (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)’ -- and those that came after him showed us that if we are ourselves, the world applauds us,” the minister said. 


He said it was an injustice that a global icon such as Linda died poor and that his descendants were not benefiting from his work simply  because it was not registered as a creative work. 


Explaining the importance of the just-passed Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill, the minister said when the bills are signed into law, they are expected to transform the creative sector and improve the lives of the artists.


He added: “These bills will ensure that our creatives are in a better position [in terms of remuneration]. We will continue to ensure that we look at the lives of creatives and challenge change in the system for the better.”


The two bills will provide for a number of significant measures related to intellectual property rights and cover key products that are used in society and the economy such as books, music, movies, photographs, sculptures and architectural designs -- and their digital equivalents, he said. 


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