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Advocate Michael Zinyoni calls for copyright protection of artists’ work

Advocate Michael Zinyoni

By Chimeno Azriel

Artists have been urged to have their work protected if they are to secure their success and future. This was said by copyright expert, Advocate Michael Zinyoni in an interview recently aired with a view of educating artists about having their work secured.

Advocate Zinyoni, who holds a degree in Intellectual Property Law, urged artists to have copyrights for their works so that it will be secured and protected.

Most artists’ rights are affected due to inadequate legislative and institutional frameworks, ignorance by some artists, and lack of knowledge by some upcoming artists. If one is well versed with the issues of copyrights, they will not go wrong.

“Artists need to be well-represented and should have managers who will advise and counsel them on aspects of their careers so that their works are well covered,” said the Advocate.

The copyright expert advised artists to devise plans for their long-term careers. He emphasised the need for artists to have agents, business managers, and lawyers so that they help them fine-tune works for them, by reviewing and drafting contracts about law and as well as looking after the financial aspects of artists’ careers and helping them to form corporations.

Asked if there are unions or associations who can cater for copyrights, the copyright advocate said that there is an Inter-ministerial Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and advised artists to cultivate their relationships with this committee.

A copyright is a form of legal protection given to creative artists. Some of the works that are eligible for copyright protection include musical works, artistic works, literary works and audio works among other works.

“There are various works that need protection including literary works, musical works artistic works among other works,” said the copyright advocate who is a product of Africa University.

Zinyoni, a musician himself, has been in the industry for more than three decades and is concerned about the future of artists. In 2015, under the deeds offices, he registered the Zimbabwe Artists Benevolent Fund but later discovered that it did not cover copyrights and legal issues. This prompted him to register further a company entities Act which addresses copyrights and legal issues.

“I had to register a company entities Act so that it covers the copyrights and legal issues so that artists’ works are covered and protected,” said Zinyoni who was recently on Power FM radio deliberating the copyrights issues.

Artists were advised to have original work so that their works are not pirated. Their works should be covered and protected. The benefits of copyright protection include granting monopoly rights to the owner of the work, giving the owner both economic and moral rights, and gives the copyright owner the right to transfer the rights to anyone who can manage their work.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende