Friday, November 17, 2006

Does NTV On DStv Open The Beat To Lawsuits?


We all know that when it comes to music and intellectual property, copyright laws in this country are virtually nonexistent. If these laws were indeed enforced, a lot of our musicians would be making handsome amounts of money…but we all know this is not the case. The problem is of course a government that simply cannot enforce ALL laws in the country. Perhaps because it is unwilling, incapable of organizing itself effectively, does not have the adequate resources or simply does not see the potential of the entertainment industry a potential taxation gold mine. Whatever the reasons, the laxity of the authorities to enforce copyright infringement laws, especially in the music and entertainment business, has been a boon for the illegal piracy trade.

Fortunately, this is not the case in the outside world – a world where governments are run effectively and are genuinely engaged in protecting the rights of their citizens. You see, DStv is Africa’s largest satellite pay-TV network, and beams its broadcast throughout our beautiful continent and into the Middle East and Asia. In fact, the only TV network that broadcasts live rugby and cricket matches in China is DStv!

With this in mind, it brings into question NTV broadcasting its signal on DStv. It means that NTV has exposed its content to an international audience; an audience which, by and large, have systems in their respective countries that diligently enforce copyright laws. It’s not the international programming that is of concern here, we are convinced that an organization with vast resources like the Nation Media Group goes through all the right channels to purchase shows produced outside this country. It’s the local programming that raises our eyebrows. Especially local programming that ‘borrows’ international material.

Now that the eyes of the world are on NTV, it would be prudent for the station to keenly understand and adhere to international copyright laws. And it’s not the news clips from CNN, SKY News or BBC we’re worried about (who cares about the news anyway?), it’s more important programming like the international music videos on the award-wining show ‘The Beat.’ Being a favourite with Kenya’s teeniez, it would be safe to deduce that The Beat is one of NTV’s most-viewed shows (for those still struggling to catch up with this train of thought, please note that the youth consist of over 60% of our total population). Now what has the station done to ensure that international record companies, or their authorized music video distributors, don’t start jetting into the country to demand for their dues?

We would like to assume that a major broadcast industry player like NTV has already seen this potential hurdle and put measures into place (paid the necessary royalties or fees required to air international music videos) to eschew lawsuits. But if they have not, then they’d better start calling up their 10,000 bob-an-hour lawyers to start covering their asses, coz the potential of the proverbial excrement hitting the spinning blades that produce cool breezes is quite imminent.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

yeah NTV is in deep s**t if they didnt go thru proper formalities.lakini lets just that hope it made right decissions,i mean its NTV.

Anonymous said...

i think ntv have the bake to pay for such kind of licenses. u r also assuming that they were not paying b4 their signal shikanad with dstv. also the music copyrights people are not working and they are the people who receive these funds, have you asked them if ntv have paid them? i hope they have coz those videos are the bomb. sasa wacha nitume salaam kwa akina bob, griffin, ray t na eric b wote wa saleka ice cool - big up! tuonanane pale, pale, kwa klabu ile, ile...

Anonymous said...

First, i cant see how The Beat is the best show on Kenyan TV. How hard is it to download the latest music videos off the net and play them on TV? We dont see skills in production, editing, and everything else that comes with a good TV production

We know that Kenyans have little respect for copyright laws, NTV have exposed themselves, and they have to correct it, they have to pay due roayalties, that includes the local musicians too

Anonymous said...

It's about time these media houses started paying our artists royalties, kama sio hivyo waache kucheza mavideo zao. NTV should pay artists for airing their videos ama wafungwe

Chris Matata said...

Africa's economy only contributes 1% to the global market. Who's going to bother with a bootleg TV show in a backwater country on the east coast of Africa? Not Universal Music Group, that's for sure, they're busy pursuing myspace.com for leaking Jay Z's latest album 'Kingdom Come...'

k-sly a.ka local artist said...

kwani what is wrong with the whole world, someone makes a big step , some people want to make two steps behind, si NTV are competent enuff to know that that was coming their way, is they did not then shock on them, still on that point , when will i get my royalties they have been playing my music video for like a yera now soon it will be on DSTV who will pay for that? eeeh! cash money nimesota can you feel me...

bobo said...

kusema ukweli mimi sielewi everything hapa but what i know is ganji ya mtu ni ganji ya mtu mtu apewe ganji yake after amefanya job ausio

Anonymous said...

Did i get it all wrong!? NTV and KBC Ch1 are on DSTv but specific to Kenya. That means only people wihin the borders of Kenya can catch both stations on DStv.
Back to the topic... its wrong to say NTV has been exposed to the eyes of the whole world! incase NTV doesn't pay royalties to the international artistes played on theeee...what again!? it's their problem! they will be caught na watalipa. Just like any other shows playing music videos from abroad and Kenya, they need to pay royalties! Club1 on KBC Ch1 is also exposed! they have new videos almost like MTV! Wachu say about that!

Anonymous said...

NTV and KBC are only available to DSTV with Kenyan registered smartcards.

Anonymous said...

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