JAH Prayzah’s camp has revealed it was forced to temporarily halt shows TWICE this year in protest over vultures who sought to record content without approval and benefit to the artiste.
Keen Mushapaidze, who is Jah Prayzah’s manager, says the biggest challenge has been coming from promoters, who hire professional camera crews to either live-stream or record live performances, without compensating the artiste.
Yesterday, Jah Prayzah announced he will no longer allow professional camera crews to come and cover his shows because they were getting his content for free and using it to make money.
The leading artiste said his fans will however, still be allowed to use their mobile phones to record their choice of moments from the show.
Mushapaidze said their performance contract has a clause on live-streaming and recording of their acts, which require a separate arrangement.
With the monetisation of digital platforms, Jah Prayzah is among artistes being targeted by content creators.
Mushapaidze said independent content creators always attended their shows with the intention to record, but they were easily managed.
“We have not had serious problems with individual content creators who attempt to live-stream or record our performances and we stop them,” he said.
“Those ones comply because they understand where we will be coming from. The problem are professional camera crews who are hired by show promoters to record performances either as live-stream or for posting later on their platforms simply because we have a performance contract.
“This problem is not in Zimbabwe alone, but even outside the country we have faced it.”
“Because they have been hired by the show promoter, they assume they have a right over our performance and will not budge even if challenged by our security.
“They believe that once a performance fee has been paid, we cannot cancel performance over filming, but this year we have stopped performances on TWO occasions.
“I shall not mention the shows, but TWICE we had to stop performance until those recording our show without agreement had stopped.
“They had ignored approaches from both our security and management and only complied when Jah stopped performing.”
He said there were promoters who clearly understood artistes’ commercial rights to their live performances.
“Our contracts are very clear on the issue and we have a clause on recording of our performance such that the likes of Chipaz and even Odyssey come upfront and we agree on a compensation which is outside of the performance contract.
“When agreed, they then have the freedom to live-stream or post on their platforms afterwards and that is what we want.”
“The other problem is that when we agree on a show with a promoter, they then accredit or allow media houses to cover the event and these media houses then hide behind the promoter’s accreditation or clearance to go beyond news coverage and generate content for monetisation.
“We have had explanations like the promoter will be trying to market, trying to play ignorant to the fact that such content is now monetised.
“Almost every social media platform is now monetising content and that is what they will be targeting.
“You find some of these media houses have access to big platforms like DStv and, obviously, they get paid for content, which is why they have to compensate the artist involved.
“We however, do not have issues with private events like weddings.
“Rarely do you find weddings being posted on YouTube for monetisation, people record for sentimental value and we have no problem with such private events being recorded.
“People record for future references and mostly in their private spaces. It’s different from commercial gigs. We haven’t gotten there yet but some international artists both in music and comedy do not allow even their audience to record using cellphones, whose technology is improving rapidly.
“Our fans can still make those brief recordings to capture special moments and its different to those who actually bring tripods to record an entire show for monetisation on digital platforms.”
Mushapaidze added they are also concerned about quality.
“Quality control of our product is also an issue for us. Ideally we want a situation where if you search for Jah Prayzah you find quality videos.
“At every show we have our own professional cameraman, Dave, and we are always willing to share his recordings with TV stations or even show promoters afterwards.
“So, even after recording, the promoters that we would have agreed with still have the courtesy to show us the footage before posting as was the case with Odyssey for our show in Kadoma.”