Movie Producers Battle Local TV Stations: Freeloaders cloud as industry players

Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang Newsroom

First, they came for musicians and movie producers thought it was not their fight and did not join the fight. Now, the vultures are starting a smear campaign against movie producers and I wonder if musicians will unite with the movie producers to fight these freeloaders.

I remembered vividly how Fancy Gadam and Maccasio were tagged as greedy people and that, they love money. The freeloaders incited the public against them just because these musicians asked to be paid for the work that, they had done. These two musicians sailed through the storm because of the loyal fans that they have. The smear campaign has not to stop against them but thanks to new technology, they are surviving. They have got platforms to clear certain untrue comments.

When the smear campaign started, even their colleague musicians did not see the need to join these two fight these vultures’ known as gatekeepers in the industry or simply call them ‘’industry players’’.

The entitlement of these gatekeepers to say is annoying is an understatement. Most industry players think that, because they play songs on their radio and TV stations,, musicians should automatically become their slaves and bow to them. They use musicians like slaves on the plantations. Musicians will perform on all the shows that the industry player is organizing as well as perform at the wedding reception that the industry player has been paid to MC.

When the musician makes the mistake of asking to be paid for the work he has done, he becomes the enemy and all dirty and unprintable name is hurled at him. For the whole week, the industry player will use precious airtime to denigrate and speak about how ungrateful that musician is.

Monitor all the industry players that have had issues with musicians, at the ends of it all, it is about money. When the musicians start demanding their rights, these gatekeepers start a smear campaign to destroy the image of the musicians in the public domain.

How many of our radio and TV stations here do not pay their royalties. We have more than fifteen radio stations in Tamale and you will be surprised to learn that only five stations pay their royalties and that is me being charitable. But then again, do musicians know their rights and what law protects their work.

All these media houses are owing northern musicians’ money and I think it is time these musicians come together with the relevant stakeholders to demand that, the radio and TV stations pay them for using their work. FYI, NO INDUSTRY PLAYER OR RADIO/TV STATION IS DOING ANY MUSICIAN A FAVOUR. THEY ARE USING YOU FOR CONTENT WHICH EQUALLY GENERATES MONEY FOR THEIR STATIONS AS WELL AS INCREASES THEIR RATINGS

Even our mobile DJs: those who play music on occasions like weddings, naming ceremonies, etc owe musicians money. We see companies use music in adverts for their products that are theft and artiste can sue them for that.

The moment you play music on your TV station or radio, automatically, you need to pay your royalty unless the artistes come to your station to promote the song. 

Recently, Northern producers refuse TV stations the rights to their movies and they want to incite the public against them. These TV stations do not even know movie producers’ target audiences and their behavior patterns or where they make their money. Yet, they feel entitled because they are a TV station that can use their intellectual property without permission or paying.  

That is stealing and you can be fined or go to jail for that singular act. If you are a TV station and you cannot acknowledge the fact that, movie producers are doing you a favor when they give you the rights to their movies, then you cannot also say the same. At the end of the day, you are using their movie as content on your station. That means you are gaining something from it, PERIOD.

You think you are doing them a favor when you show their movie. That is an insult to their intelligence. You are even lucky they did not sue you for showing their movies without their knowledge. Acquiring the rights to a movie is part of the channels they use to recoup their investment. We have laws in the country that protect them.

All these measures are there to help creative people to make money from their talent. It is just like the radio and TV station selling slots for people to advertise their product or a farmer selling his farm produce. Can you tell a farmer to give you one bag of maize, when you eat it, he will be able to sell the remaining bags of maize?

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