'Zimura, Econet in downloading partnership'

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) is partnering mobile service provider Econet Wireless in a bid to combat piracy through music mobile data bundles.

There are two applications to be used which are the Zim Tunes and Mhanzi Apps, all available on the Econet mobile network platform.

They are also engaging Logical Systems and CyberCard two local technical organisations who are helping in developing the app, with Econet being the service provider.

Henry Makombe, Zimura’s licensing manager said it was still work in progress.

“Econet proposed a partnership with Zimura to run a web-based retail site where both the mechanical and the public performance rights would be exploited.

“Zimura will provide content and Econet will provide real time live-streaming, hence downloading the song. Users will be required to purchase music bundles which will allow them to download music of their choice.

“We will make money through the Internet use; these are bundles just like the Econet Facebook and WhatsApp bundles whereby people have access to music. On the Zim App, music can be downloaded but it is encrypted in such a way that it will only play on the device downloaded.

“You can send to another device but the user must have those bundles in order to play or download the song.

“ This gives the artistes a wider variety of selling points rather than waiting for recording labels to sell or concerts,” he said.

Zimura is an association of composers and publishers of music established to protect rights of Zimbabwe author members granted to them under the copyright law. It was incorporated in terms of Section 22 of the Companies Act (CAP190).

He added that they were still developing the app and would conduct a test run first before putting it out onto the market.

On the Mhanzi App, Makombe explained that it would operate like WhatsApp.

“It is an online application which operates on mobile devices, with the owners of content uploading their content on their personal page.

Right owners would have a real time account to monitor every transaction that happens on the app.

“The right holder can communicate with his or her fans on the app and users pay using different methods such as EcoCash, Telecash, Nettcash and so on. Streaming would be for 20 seconds only and before uploading their works, artists should sign an indemnity certifying that they own their mechanical rights,” he said.

This is a welcome improvisation by Zimura as they have been struggling to collect royalties from their clients who are feeling the pinch of the economic situation.

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