Artists under their umbrella body the National Culture Forum (NCF) have petitioned the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to intervene in the sharing of revenue resulting from Caller Ring Back Tunes-CRBTs.
They noted that although the artists own the content, their share of the revenue generated amounts to a mere 1.8% which is not commensurate with the investment that they put in to create.
Other members of the CRBTs value chain and their share includes government 50%, telecoms 35% and aggregators 13.2%.
Artists believe this rate is exploitative and that they never participated in the negotiation even when the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act empowers them to.
They have asked the minister to issue a statutory instrument on the sharing of revenue resulting from CRBTs by fixing artists share at 60% of the gross collections and make artists, telecoms and aggregators to each be responsible for paying their tax obligations on the resulting income/revenue.
They asked the minister to move CRBTs from being charged on airtime to mobile money to enable artists have a fair share of resulting revenue and audit and order telecoms to pull down any CRBTs content that infringes copyright.
They further asked the minister to empower the music collecting society to collect any additional royalties due to artists from the telecom carriers for CRBTs content.
The above measures will ensure that Ugandan artists are fairly remunerated and empowered to create better quality music that will dominate Africa and generate great wealth for the players.