THE Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) has vowed to continue its blitz against unlicensed disc jockeys (DJs), dance groups, night clubs and shops.
Zimura, whose mandate is partly to safeguard the rights of artistes, recently launched an operation named “Operation Produce Authority” targeting musicians and dance groups operating without registration certificates.
The association, working with the police, has raided several night clubs and entertainment joints in the Midlands, Matebeleland South and Matebeleland North demanding licences from DJs and artistes found at work. Zimura regional boss Clarence Garura said there were a lot of places that violated copyright laws.
“A lot of premises are being opened, musicians are mushrooming everywhere and as Zimura we launched Operation Produce Authority targeting unlicensed musicians and dance groups,” he said.
“We also realised that we are approaching the festive season and a number of activities would be done that involve a number of DJs.”
For the past months, 55 unlicensed DJs were fined and got a chance to be licensed by Zimura. Before the raids began, only 22 DJs were registered.
Garura said the raids conducted especially during weekends would continue. He said they had reached remote areas in Matabeleland such as Tjitji, Tjingababili, Mpoengs and Tsholotsholo. Dete, Binga, Victoria Falls, Kamativi , Inyathi and Nkayi would be targeted in future raids.
“A lot of raids are conducted during the weekends and we have realised that there is a string of road show vans,” he said.
“These vans tend to promote some certain products during events.
“In these vans, there will be some DJs and we arrest them if they do not have good papers with them.
“As much as we appreciate the value and creativity that DJs and dance groups are giving the music industry, they ought to remunerate the music composers by obtaining copyright licences from Zimura.
“The Copyright, Neighbouring Rights Act Chapter 26:05 is very clear on premises that cause public performance of music without the authority of the owner of the copyright,” he added.
“We do not want to stifle music growth, but our objective is to make sure that all music users are licensed so that authors and composers of music get royalties from use of their property.”
Garura said Zimbabwe was a signatory to the Berne Convention, the standard copyright convention. It allows for mutual protection of all copyright works originating in approximately 120 countries that are signatories.
“In other words, if a work originates in another country that is a signatory to the Berne Convention, the use of the work in Zimbabwe can be in accordance with the Copyright Law of Zimbabwe regardless of the laws of the country of origin,” he