Collective efforts of artistes through Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) are necessary to ensure royalty sharing, said speakers and artistes at a seminar on copyright on Wednesday at Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum.
Lack of awareness regarding copyright laws and royalty sharing among the artistes is causing copyright infringement and depriving the artistes of their dues.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor was present at the seminar, organised by Copyright Office, as the chief guest. Cultural affairs secretary Ibraheem Hossain Khan, World Intellectual Property Organisation consultant Abdul Hannan and copyright office registrar Zafar Raja Chowdhury, among others, were also present at the seminar.
Artistes across the world form CMOs to act as their bargaining agent. However, in Bangladesh there are no operational CMOs, said WIPO consultant Abdul Hannan.
To note, the sole CMO in the country is Bangladesh Lyricists, Composers and Performers Society (BLCPS).
‘Most artistes are indifferent towards copyright law and do not get their creations registered under copyright act. Besides, artistes are being deprived as they do know how to collect royalty from online platforms’, said poet and copyright expert Muhammad Nurul Huda, who presented the key-note paper at the seminar.
Expatriate singer Mamun, while sharing his experience of online royalty sharing, said, ‘Most of our artistes do not have accounts or channels on online platforms like Youtube. However, their songs are being uploaded by others who are making a fast buck and not sharing any royalty with anyone’.
‘Not each and every artiste can have their own online channel or youtube account. But if a collective effort is made to create the channels and collect the royalties it will greatly benefit the artistes. Besides, the copyright office can also familiarise the artistes with digital technology’, added Mamun.
Sharing his personal experience, Mamun said, ‘Every month I earn a handsome amount from youtube, iTunes and other platforms which uploads my songs. I get the share as a singer, while the composers and lyricists of the songs can claim their shares from the online platforms’.
Other artistes also shared how they are being deprived. ‘For many of us, the laws and the system appear to be too complicated. The ministry and copyright office should help us on this matter’, said eminent singer Subir Nandi.
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