Artistes losing thousands to piracy

This week, members of the Namibian Police accompanied NASCAM officials in conducting operations, which saw CDs worth over R20 000 being confiscated in the Karas region, in five-day stinging raids. Said John Max “It’s a pity most of the stuff we found belongs to Namibian artists, with the exception of a few which is foreign”. The raids by NASCAM were held in Keetmanshoop, Roshi-pinah, Luderitz and Mariental where more than 230 pirate CDs and audiocassettes were found. Music of famed local artists such as award winning, Gazza’s Stof-Lap album, Ndilimani Cultural Troupe, Killa B, Gal level, ruling party Swapo’s 21st Much album, Bullet, Phura and talk of the moment Sonny Boy’s Balance album were among the CDs confiscated. Ndilimani Band Leader Jessy Nombanza fumed at the inappropriate distribution of music around the country as the source of the rising piracy levels. “It’s bad news for artist who some of them are living from the industry which we want to turn professional in the country. Why do people have to buy music from the streets yet there are registered distribution companies in the country,” he said. However, NASCAM says there are yet to catch real culprits as most of the copied music is passed through a lot of hands. “Most of the CDs we retrieved was in clubs and juke boxes and these are just business people who buy without knowing its fake music. So we have undertaken the obligation of teaching the public on how to identify pirated music from original ones”. Max says his company has printed pamphlets to help teach the public adding “it’s good now that the police have been taught how to identify such fake CDs which are destroying artists”. Piracy carries a fine of R12 000 to R20 000 or a conviction of 3 to 5 years in jail. Max says more operations are to be conducted around the country and the society is in the process of acquiring a search warrant before raiding a notorious pirate-selling complex in the capital, Windhoek.

March 2006
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