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Music Piracy, a Growing Cancer in Namibia
Windhoek- Namibia, like other Southern African countries, is battling the scourge of music piracy which is costing the music industry a fortune.

Millions of and video CDs are being made illegally and ofloaded onto the market with the artists getting nothing out of their sweat.
The question being asked throughout the region is. How can this piracy be stopped.

In Namibia, the government passed a law in 1994 to protect the Artistic works. This law is called the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Act of 1994, Act No.6 in Chapter 3, part 3 of the Copyright Act, Section 55-56 .

It paved the way for the establishment of the Namibia Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) whose objective is to safeguard the interests of artists NASCAM has over the years tried to put strategies in place to vigorously combat this crime but with little success.

Audio and video piracy is described as the unauthorized appropriation of copyrighted materials. In the music industry piracy means illegally copying music on cassettes.

Many artists live in abject poverty unable to receive proper royalties for their works.
There have been campaigns to highlight the negative effects of piracy in the industry but the practice continues unabated. Artists themselves are filling the pinch.

One of Namibia's top selling artists Martin Morocky, better known as The Dogg, said: 'Piracy does affect all of us, whether one is an established artist or upcoming artist. It makes one to think that his or her work is not being appreciated. I think some thing serious should be done especially for those in the Juke Box business.

Most of these people don't play original CDs in their Juke Boxes. For us to eliminate piracy in Namibia, our government needs to come up with a stricter law to deal with the culprits. Such people should be punished severely.'

The Dogg, himself a victim of piracy, called on music lovers to buy original CDs as a way of saying no to piracy. Another top musician Tunaki Uushona, who specialises in traditional music, said:

' I insist that the government and the musicians union should do something. I have never heard of a person being sent to prison for committing such a crime. We have people with Juke Boxes full of pirated copies of CDs, local and international.

People in the streets are selling copies of our CDs.
There is no more playing of original music in vehicles or at homes. I don't know why our government is closing its eyes to this. Why are criminals not being prosecuted?'

Namibian police, Customs and Excise officials and NASCAM officials in the northern town of Rundu early this year confiscated over 900 pirated combact discs (CDs) and digital versatile disc DVD valued at over R45 800.

What is perhaps needed is for those fighting piracy in the region to come together and chart the way forward because piracy is a cross border crime.
Tags:Music piracy, a growing cancer in Namibia,Music Piracy, a Growing Cancer in Namibia
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