Music like every other creation of mind is an intellectual property with most ownership rights of a tangible property. This property has changed the life of creators, singers, producers and so on so forth. This development has been due to vibrant cooperation with their local collective management organizations.
Many a collective management organization across the world has upheld, the development, advancement and betterment of musicians grace to tough cooperation with local CMOs by collecting royalties from users of their works such as radios,televisions, bars,hotels to name but few. This has resulted into getting more income that help musicians in their daily life.
In many countries of Africa, there are so many different collective management organizations that represent Authors.Pertinent example is eastern neighboring country of Tanzania That have collective management organization called COSOTA(Copyrights Society of Tanzania) which represents creators and collects royalties from the users of artists’ works on behalf of them.Besides COSOTA of Tanzania,there is also COSOZA(Copyright Society of Zanzibar).Not only do East African countries have CMOs but also other parts of Africa. In West African countries there are collective management organizations. Without beating about the bush, there is dynamic CMO called COSON (Copyright Society of Nigeria).COSON represents composers and it promotes and protects their rights. Many different countries in the world have CMOs in Philippine there is a PRSP (Performers rights society of the Philippine).In Nepal there is MRCSN (Music royalty collection Society of Nepal).They have the same mandates as CMOs we have seen above.
As for Rwanda, creativity is ongoing process in Rwanda many people from rural to the urban areas come up with creative works which the country and RSAU needs to be fully conscious of them.These creative works may range from music, films, sculptures , paintings, carvings, and literary works among others.If the creator registers or applies for membership in RSAU, he will be in good position to be recognized as member of Rwandan Society of Authors and to be entitled to several to several benefits that go along with
application of membership. RSAU mandate is to promote and protect the interests and a right of Authors.it also fights against piracy. Rwandan Society of Authors collects and distributes royalties and remuneration accorded to them in the respect of their rights provided under the law. RSAU collects royalties from the users of works. Some of users are telecommunication companies that use the works of musicians for the search of caller tunes. Generally all over the world music industry relies on royalties generated by the licensing of copyrighted songs and recordings as a primary form of payment for musicians. For Rwanda however generating money from music is challenging as the music sector is still growing. Today any artist can reach fans and sell music to them in any part of the world but few Rwandan artists take advantage of this opportunity.
On the other hand, musicians should gauge pros and cons and draw lessons from international artists that join and get along well with their local collective management organizations. There are some artists that understand and appreciate RSAU, amongst them there Joshua Jay Polly and so many others who have been registered by RSAU for membership.
All Rwandans should bring on mind set change and the development of music sector, in particular artists and RSAU as a society which acts in on behalf of Rwandan authors. And the users of those works have to get along well with Rwandan society of Authors. Little by little the top comes to the river and the journey of thousands kilometers begins with one step.