The Monitor :: Musicians Fingered In Piracy
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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Musicians Fingered In Piracy

FRANCISTOWN: There is no denying that piracy hurts musicians very hard, especially upcoming artists who are yet to establish themselves in the industry.
By Lebogang Mosikare Mon 30 Jul 2018, 13:33 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Musicians Fingered In Piracy








From time immemorial, musicians from Botswana and the world have been crying foul that pirates are enjoying the fruits of their intellectual labour while some of them are wallowing in poverty having nothing to show for their sweat despite having been in the music industry for yonks.

But recently it came to the fore that some musicians in Botswana are merely shedding crocodile tears when they complain about piracy because instead of being the ones at the forefront of nipping the scourge of piracy in the bud, they are the ones who are promoting it.

It is true that some dishonest people are reaping where they did not sow as can be attested to by the branch manager of the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) in Francistown, Isaac Raphutse. Raphutse painted a nasty picture of some musicians in the city who are helping the piracy industry to thrive.

He was speaking at a workshop that was organised by the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) for right holders at Thapama Hotel Tuesday.

He stated that they have discovered that some artists give some hawkers and small-scale traders permission to sell their music albums in compact discs that are not embossed with holograms.

“During one of our raids with the police and other law enforcement officers, we discovered that some musicians are indeed the ones who are promoting piracy. We ended up destroying pirated music worth about P86,000 just in one raid along Haskins Street. When we asked some of the traders who we

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raided, they told us some of you gave them the expressed permission to sell their music without holograms,” a visibly worried Raphutse said.

He added that the traders they raided even gave them phone numbers of musicians who gave them permission to sell music without holograms.

To their shock and dismay,  Raphutse stated that musicians who answered the phones confirmed that they indeed gave the traders permission to sell their music without holograms. “I plead with you to refrain from doing so because it makes our duty of fighting piracy very difficult. 

The role of fighting piracy does not only belong to CIPA and the police but to all of us including artists,” Raphutse bemoaned. During the questions and comments session, some artists urged government to come up with strict measures of combating piracy, as traditional ways of fighting piracy in both the publishing and music industries seem to be achieving little results.

In response, Raphutse said the police and law enforcement agents were not the only solution to curb piracy in the age of rapid technological advancement.

“I once again plead with you to refrain from aiding and abetting piracy because doing so makes our duty of fighting this scourge very cumbersome. All stakeholders of music and other literary works including customers and artists should help to address piracy,” a concerned Raphutse buttressed.

He added that if customers buy only original works of artists, then the problem of piracy would be eliminated while musicians and other copyright owners would thrive.

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