The Namibian Society of Composer and Authors of Music (NASCAM) recently made it known, that Namibian Dj’s will have to pay a fee of N$ 800 for a Dj’ing Licence or face a four year jail term or a penalty of N$ 12 000 or more.
The need for a Dj’ing licence falls under ‘Offences and penalties and proceedings in respect of dealings which infringe copyright’ of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act.
This Act states that an individual who performs literary or musical work in public, knowing that copyright subsists in the work and that such performance constitutes an infringement of the copyright, will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment.
In an interview earlier this week with The Lounge NASCAM CEO, John Max noted that NASCAM’s mandate is to control the use of music in public places through the licensing fee, which will be used to pay royalties to the right song writers and publishers.
Max further explained that Dj’s should take it into account that the music they are using is not their own, hence the need to pay the fee that will enable them to get a licence which will allow Dj’s to continue playing music at different gigs.
“Dj’s should note that the N$ 800 will only be paid annually, we will be having inspectors going around and if we find Dj’s without licences then we will be forced to lay a case against them, so let’s just work together the right way”, explained Max.
Speaking on behalf of the Dj’ing committee, Dj Legend who has been in the industry for almost 20 years noted that Dj’s such as himself were not in agreement with the manner in which this fee was imposed on them.
“We do not mind paying but the manner in which this was communicated was not planned properly and there were no consultations between us and NASCAM. NASCAM does not have to threaten us with penalties or jail terms because it is a bit offensive and they should remember that 80 percent of the Dj’s are unemployed with no stable jobs. Thus it is difficult to buy equipment as well as pay for this fee”.
He further urged NASCAM to come up with gazetted policies with reasons as to why Dj’s should pay and what this money will be used for.
“We as Dj’s would also like to upgrade our careers, so will this N$ 800 built towards that will it create a platform where we are able to record albums of our own so that we do not have to make use of artist’s music ?”.
Legend finally urged NASCAM to go about this issue in a positive way.