Africa Music Law (AML) Artists, as you all know or should know, I create from a place of love. Artists I know y’all feel me on creating from a space of love, especially with your music. So, on this special designated love day, I can only wish you all a VERY Haaaaaaaaaaaappy Valentine’s Day!!! As AML continues to evolve, my goal is to keep it very exclusive and really focused on industry people and the business of music which of course you know is a heavy dose of law. AML’s unspoken tagline is “For the Industry by an Industry Insider.”
Whether you all like it or not, if you will be in the music industry, lawyers, especially music/entertainment lawyers should be your best friends. If they know how to fight i.e. they are trial lawyers, extra icing on the cake. Keep them super close to you and treat them super nice because they could and will sue you. Looooool! It is what it is.
Anyway, Why should your lawyers be your besties? Beyond the fact that they are sworn to confidentiality (i.e. uphold the attorney client privilege when you retain their services) when they take an oath to get sworn in as officers of the court, the heart of the music industry is copyright law. Who owns music you create? Who owns the masters, the (song), the audio visuals? How many times can you rent that intellectual property you have so that you have income coming in? How can you build your intellectual property so that just like our parents passed on land to some of us, you can pass on your land (intellectual property land) to your children?
So far, Nigeria and Ghana’s music industries have been operating on an extremely unsustainable model i.e. strictly relying on touring for income. Artists that should be retired now compete with younger artists to make ends meet and they are frankly losing as the youth pop culture and tastes evolve. Artists, how do you intend to take care of your families in the future? What happens if a health crisis should hit you right now? What happens if you get into a car accident from the many bad roads in your neck of the woods? What happens when your music becomes irrelevant and you no longer get booked and cannot tour?
Now what? What’s your plan B? You are depleting your resources at a very high rate and the income you now bring in simply does not cut it. This is where law absolutely matters. I can’t emphasize it enough to be about the business of music business. It absolutely matters from the moment you create your music who owns what and how you sell the music you create. You can’t get around it.
For now, I make AML (my intellectual property) available at no expense to you all. I am now writing what I hope will be a comprehensive and authoritative book for the music industry that I hope to complete this year. I do, however, anticipate a shift in the future of AML from a free model to a subscription based model, given the time it takes to share my experience and knowledge with you, especially the time to read through the dense laws both in Nigeria and Ghana’s statutes and codes.
Take advantage of the love I give here on AML, spread the love and truly be about the business of your music and of course your copyrights.
Happy Valentine’s! In the final analysis, it is all about love. Life is meaningless, I find, without love.
My favorite love song from a Nigerian artists I think is from Lami. Her song ‘Find Me’ from her freshman album is dope!!!!
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