Musicians commemorate capacitation copyrights month



MASERU – The Lesotho Copyright Society of Authors and Artists (LESCOSAA) is aiming at capacitating Basotho, more especially artistes, on copyright and intellectual property (IP). This is in line with the celebration of the International Surf Music Month, commemorated in June.

 Surf music (or surf rock, surf pop, or surf guitar) is a genre of rock music associated with surf culture, particularly found in Southern California, USA. This will be the first time LESCOSSA will be celebrating surf music.  Going on forward, the celebration will be an annual event.

“One thing we have realised as an organisation is that our people lack knowledge when it comes to copyright, intellectual property (IP), and business in music,” said LESCOSAA Public Relations Officer (PRO), Senate Makara, in an interview with Public Eye. “So as part of the celebration of international surf music, we are trying our best to teach, inform, and make people aware of such.”

Makara further said: “We are collaborating with those in the creative industry and radio stations for that awareness.” LESCOSSA PRO noted they were invited to the Limkokwing University Fashion Show last Saturday, something that she said was an honour for her organisation. “It was indeed an honour to be part of such an important show,” she acknowledged.

She added: “The message we have for our artistes is to learn, research, create, and work hard. There is life in the music industry. They just need to learn how it works, the business side of it, do more research, and put in more work into their craft.” Makara said local artistes must stop giving out their music for free and sharing it with their friends on WhatsApp. “Chase money more than fame. It doesn’t look cool to be famous yet hungry.

 “Learn how the internet works, because the internet is an opportunity for music owners. They get leverage from a wider audience and international exposure,” she said. Makara further said local artistes should utilise online platforms for licencing as well as technological protection measures such as digital locks to prevent unauthorised access to their music.

“Work together as musicians to help grow the industry in Lesotho,” she said. She added: “Licencing and collection of royalties ensures compensation to song writers and performers for their works, and LESCOSAA is established for that.”

She therefore urged local musicians to register with LESCOSSA and support the creative industry. LESCOSAA is a collective management organisation established by the Copyright Order of 1989 with the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests of authors, artistes, and performers who register as its members.

The organisation is further responsible for the collection and distribution of royalties and other remuneration accruing to and due to its members in respect of their rights.

The various works that the organisation seeks to promote and protect include music and sound recording, film and audio-visual works, print, and publishing dramatic and theatrical works on behalf of authors, artistes, and performers. These works are protected by the sole fact of their creation, irrespective of their form, mode of expression, or artistic merits.

The quality of the work is irrelevant under copyright laws, as works are protected regardless of whether they can be judged as good or bad. The decisive factor is whether the work is original or not.

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