Professor of International Economics and Intellectual Property at the University of Abuja, K.M Waziri, has expressed dissatisfaction with the exploitation of young, naïve, up-and-coming and impressionable musical artistes, by record labels.
In a statement obtained on Sunday, Waziri condemned the alleged servitude, unequal bargaining power, anti-labour law activities that characterized the many contract record labels.
Some record labels literally manipulated young artists seeking exposure to sign and commit themselves to unbeknownst
He claimed that some record labels literally manipulated young artists seeking exposure to sign and commit themselves to unbeknownst.
Waziri said while record labels fed fat on the royalty and financial returns from the works of creatives, the artistes got an infinitesimal portion or absolutely nothing of their sweat as rewards, an action which contravened the dictates of the International Labour Organisation and local labour laws.
The don said provisions of labour legislation by the ILO totally frowned at forced or compulsory labour which was an ancient practice akin to slavery and had no place in the modern world.
Today, record labels with local and international management fraudulently make young artistes sign contracts without giving them the opportunity to know the details of the contract
Waziri said all international instruments on forced or compulsory labour condemned the deceptive recruitment by record labels and the exploitative actions of the latter. The instruments include the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), the United Nations Slavery Convention, 1927, and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, 1956.
Waziri said, “Disappointingly, record labels are the new slave masters in town. One would have thought that with the exit of the colonialists and imperialists, the era of slavery in Nigeria and parts of Africa has ended but it is not so, evidently.
Poor exposure and little or no educational background of up-and-coming artistes also contribute to the exploitation by record labels
“Today, record labels with local and international management fraudulently make young artistes sign contracts without giving them the opportunity to know the details of the contract. This recruitment is by abuse of lack of information because the young artistes are not fully aware of the contract terms. This is condemnable and exploiters should desist from preying on the vulnerabilities of these young talents thus preventing them from making informed decisions before committing themselves to contract.”
“The indicators of deceptive recruitment include economic reasons that render a young artiste vulnerable at the point of recruitment, including being from poor ground and lack of funding to produce records. Poor exposure and little or no educational background of up-and-coming artistes also contribute to the exploitation by record labels. Excessive deductions of wages for food or lodgings, or monetary penalties for fraudulent reasons also constitute indicators of deceptive recruitment, according to the ILO.
“These practices are fraudulent, grossly exploitative and prosecutable and should be stopped by record labels. Young artistes already in messy contracts can also seek redress in court,” Waziri added.