‘End artist exploitation’ – Selota

Veteran jazz maestro Selaelo Selota has implored musicians and artists to understand the business behind the music industry, which is worth billions of rand. “It’s not so much about how good you sing. You can have the great voice, but if as an artist you don’t understand how much money is generated through your craft, then you are in trouble,” said Selota.
Selota was speaking at the Intellectual Property Music Awareness Roadshow, which was organised by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and the City of Johannesburg’s Community Development Department in Parkview.
It is estimated that the music industry contributes more than R90 billion a year, but artists themselves not benefitting. The aim of the roadshows was to bring services such as copyright registration, registration for royalty distribution, intellectual property legal protection and contracting advisory, sponsorships towards market ready crafters, registration for SMME financial and non-financial support closer to communities.
“Artists need to understand and educate themselves about how collection societies gather money on their behalf,” said Selota, who added that it was something he has had to learn early in his career. Some of the music industry players that attended the event included South African Music Rights Organisation, South African Music Performance Rights Association, Association of Independent Record Companies (AIRCO) and Marketing Association of South Africa.
Stanley Khoza from AIRCO said he was shocked to learn that most artists still don’t know what the different types of royalties they are entitled to. “The first person who starts to exploit the artist is the artist themselves. This is because as artists we don’t invest time in understanding the value chain in the music industry,” said Khoza.

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