By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
Social media has been awash with allegations that online television channel Nash TV is fleecing upcoming artistes through incorrigible contracts.
But Nash TV has refuted the allegations, saying some artistes rush to sign their contracts without necessarily understanding the contents. What some of these artistes do, is get excited with expectation of oncoming exposure and fame, then sign without reading.
But the artistes might not be alone, for, in what sounds like human nature, all over the world, many people including professionals, hardly read through their contracts until they get into trouble.
According to the dictionary, a contract is a written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.
While intellectual Property refers to any creation of the mind such as names, designs, products and images used in business and this is protected by the law of patenting, copyrights and trademarking and covered in the contract.
Some fans blasted the popular social media television channel after some of the contract papers Nash TV and a fellow artiste were leaked and described as “slavery and exploitation”.
Part of the contract reads, “Do hereby grant to Nash TV and its companies, associates, licenses, beneficiaries and give (collectively Nash Group) an unlimited, sub-licensable, transferable, irreversible, permanent, universal, royalty — free licence to my pictures, portrayal, likeness, voice and performance in any audio, visual or audio-visual recordings included, but is not limited to, digital images, video and audio . . .
“This licence includes the right to: publicly exhibit, perform, sell, lease, distribute (directly or indirectly), transmit or air the content by any means now identified or hereafter conceived.
“I relinquish all right, including any right of prior approval, and release Nash TV from, and all will not take legal action, sue or bring any proceedings against Nash TV for, any claim or cause of action, whether now recognised or unrecognised, for slander, copyright infringement and invasion of the rights to confidentiality, publicity or any similar matter, or based upon relating to the use and utilisation of the content,” read part of the contact.
Of late the social media site has been hosting virtual shows which include live performances, interviews and album launches among others for both seasoned and upcoming artists.
Somehow they became a stepping stone for some artistes especially in these times of the Covid-19 global pandemic where hosting of events and gatherings are prohibited to curb the spread of the virus.
Artistes have now resorted to virtual platforms.
However, it remains a norm that when artistes sign a contract with a promoter or show organiser, do they actually read the contents or they are just excited to perform as they go straight to rehearsals without understanding the terms and conditions?
It has also been proven that some local artistes are ignorant to the extent of not even having a good and proper management who helps them in their careers. When it comes to contracts, somehow it is about benefits and at the same time the one who drafts the contracts calls the shorts.
Whether you like it or not, take it or leave it is their point of call.
Some artistes travel even as far as South Africa, Nigeria and United Kingdom hurriedly wanting to perform in a foreign land let alone end up sleeping at bus terminus or community churches because they will be stranded after the show not knowing what their contracts entail or sometimes they are abused willingly and unwillingly all for the sake of travelling.
“They are sometimes belittled, downgraded to a pre-school pupil as they beg and treated unfairly because somehow they don’t understand or read before departure. We have several cases of late, recently some local artists who had performed in South Africa were left stranded,” said Bee BK Nkomo on social media.
A conclusion by some artistes’ management critics stated that there is room for more workshops, seminars and thorough education on grooming and deportment of artistes and how they should understand contracts, endorsements and even ambassadorial roles.
“It is not just being excited about getting a deal and being an ambassador with benefiting. I know they want to move names, views and volumes of products but as an artist, did you ask yourself what does that mean to you? Are you bringing food on the table or you just continuing seeding to the contractor’s field,” said lifestyle coach and artiste management specialist who commented on condition of anonymity.
In an interview Nash TV representative Tariro Mharapara affectionately known as Butterphly, said she wants to clear the unnecessary confusion and the misconceptions that have arisen regarding Nash TV, and its relationship with the various artistes.
“From the onset, the excerpt has been taken out of context, and quite so, because whoever decided to share it does not understand how we operate with various artists in Zimbabwe.
“We have many different contracts that we make with the different artists we engage on our many projects. These projects vary from live shows, riddims, shows Color Vibes and Hotspot among others,” she said.
She explained that in some cases they own the video performance but not the actual song, while in other cases they own the “Riddim” and the song performed.
“At times we contract various producers to create works that will be owned by us. We have instances where we pay out the artist and we own the right to the song and we collect royalties from all the platforms you can think of such as having the rights to the YouTube videos and with other artists we can just upload their music with no pecuniary benefit to us,” she said.
She added that some of the wording in the contracts is there to protect the organisation from unwarranted litigations on the grounds of copyright violation.
“Since we started uploading music we have made less than US$1500 from Facebook.
“Two payments came from YouTube one for US$4 000* and the other for US$3 800,” said Butterphly. The Herald