Am a student entrepreneur from Rwanda, my expertise is in intellectual property management , creative design and technology field
Can Artists and Authors Make a Living from Their Work?
From many years ago art was one of the most paying careers and a way people expressed their creativity. Rwanda have a very strong artistic community, we have many creative people but without copyright protection our artists will not be able to earn money from their efforts, let alone make a living from their art, today things has turned bad where the majority of artist doesn’t get living opportunities from it and this has reduced the value and quantity of artistic works on the market. Why is this career not giving bread to those who do it? Let me figure out one of the major reasons today and that is “intellectual property rights” but I will focus only on copyrights.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property rights are rights given to any person over their creative ideas; usually it provides exclusive right to the creator over the use of their creation for a certain period. Without any reward to artists, we could no longer be seeing any new artworks, so it is important for every artist to understand their rights and what to do if those rights have been violated or infringed. Do Rwandan artists know that copyright exists? Absolutely some of them but the majority doesn’t.
Copyright Registration Definition and Benefits
Copyright is a valuable business asset for artists and knowing how to protect it can be central to his/her business success. It protects literary and artistic works which include writings, music and works of fine arts such as paintings and sculptures, and technology-based works such as computer programs and electronic databases. But remember that it protects works that is the expression of thoughts not ideas. Good news for artists is that your work doesn’t need to be judged good to get this right but it only needs to be original.
With it you will have two types of right which are economic and moral rights. economic rights are rights of reproduction of your work like printing and photocopying your work, public performance, broadcasting and communication to the public and making available and rights of translation and adaptation which facilitate the works to be presented to public in a manner everyone can understand, you will be able to exploit them for profitable advantages like transferring it or getting royalties but moral rights which are right to attribution, paternity and integrity aren’t transferred even if economic ones are transferred.
Copyright Registration in Rwanda
In Rwanda, intellectual property is protected under law NO 31/2009 of 26/10/2009 and law NO 50/2018 of 13/8/2018. From the register of intellectual property in RDB , copyrights is divided into; literary works, musical works, computer programs, dramatic and dramatic-music works, choreographic works, audiovisual works, works of drawing, painting, sculpture, lithography, tapestry and other works of fine art, works of architecture, photographic works, works of applied art such as handicraft, illustrations, maps, plains, sketches and 3D works relating to geography, topography, architecture or science and works of Rwandan folklore.
In Rwanda, economic rights for copyright are protected during the lifetime of the author and fifty years after his/her death. By the copyright registration in RDB you will be able to file a copyright infringement lawsuit which is one the best advantages and this will be your legal proof of ownership so that it will be noticed by the public and no one will use your work without your consent unless it will be taken as infringement.
So What to Do?
By knowing that without copyright artists can’t get money easily let’s take it as an essential mechanism by which artists will make art for living whether they are actively producing artworks or when they are no longer able to do so. The world we are living in today is full of art and we need to make money from it as artists, always let’s keep in mind that intellectual property is the driving oil of this generation and Rwanda as a knowledge based economy country we don’t have many natural resources but we have brilliant minds which can create and innovate everyday for the better living of the society. Let’s do art more than a pleasure but for living too.
obed Imbahafi (author) from Rwanda on January 22, 2021:
Thank you, Simplice
obed Imbahafi (author) from Rwanda on January 21, 2021:
Thank you very much Niyitanga, just stay connected for the next articles also
Niyitanga on January 21, 2021:
Good job !...pull up
Your job and ideas are highly appreciated
Simplice on January 21, 2021:
This information is really needed, Rwandan artists and authors in case of infringement they are not able to win due to not registering their rights