The Status of Local Songwriters in Myanmar in the Enjoyment of Material Interests from a Human Rights Framework
Keywords:Copyright protection in Myanmar, Songwriter rights, Author rights, Human rights framework to author rights
Since 1914, the moral and material interests of songwriters in Myanmar have been protected by the Copyright Act. Though, their rights have been exploited in different ways ranging from uploading, downloading, and copying by non-commercial users to unauthorized selling, re-using as sound tracks, broadcasting and performing by commercial users such as music producers, event organizers and some other artists. Research which has effectively protected copyright owners and/or the public has been limited and done mainly by local academics. The government has been trying to fulfill local copyright owners’ needs by implementing temporary measures which seem to be getting better. Nonetheless, the tension between the government and local songwriters is still ongoing. This paper argues that the Government of Myanmar ought to review the situation of songwriters from a human rights perspective to improve their livelihoods through full recognition and remuneration. To reach this end, the study used the qualitative research methods of documentary analysis and in-depth interviews. Data collection was done from May-June 2016 in Yangon, Myanmar. The study revealed that the new copyright (15th draft) law is still weak to meet the needs of local songwriters’ problem, particularly to meet contractual arrangement which is the basic element to enjoy material interests in transferring the rights.
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