Individuals buying pirated copies of music discs in the streets are pure criminals and should be arrested along with pirates, an intellectual property expert has said. Simbarashe Makahamadze, a partner and intellectual consultant with Palladium and Intellectual Property Consultants Zimbabwe, expressed his anger over the reluctance of relevant authorities over pirates.
Speaking on the sidelines of CCAP Legends Live DVD launch where he was a guest speaker. Mkakahamadze urged government to come up with stringent measures on pirates and buyers.
“We have realised the idea of copyright and what it can do to the economy. We took an initiative to save our artistes and we encourage people not to buy pirated discs because it’s a crime, its illegal, it kills the economy. Those who buy from the streets are criminals and should be arrested just as those who pirate,” he said.
He emphasised the need for government to deal with this cancerous activity.
The copyright contribution is not far from the manufacturing industry and we need a proper framework that will protect our musicians because as they grow, it will help grow the economy. In countries like Jamaica, Nigeria, Malawi and others, their art industry contributes much to the GDP. We are trying to come up with an environment where we want people to view musicians, authors and all artistes as valuable. We are doing our part in the form of awareness, workshops, we have also took part in initiatives to sponsor some musicians in a way to show them that the industry is worth. Added Makahamadze:
“We want the government to take responsibility on copyrights because these artistes’ efforts contribute to our economy. We are having problems that offenders are arrested and ordered to pay a fine and walk freely and repeat the same thing. We rare saying it’s not enough, we can’t have a situation where one sells a product worth thousands to be completed for dollar for two in the streets and this has seen artistes failing to produce more because they have given up on piracy. So we are pushing on the amendment of the copyrights Act so that it will reflect on the value of musicians. We want those who buy from the streets to be dealt with, get arrested along with the pirates”