Tempers flare over music piracy

As music piracy continues to be a problem in South Africa, a labour union representing creative workers warned that it could lead to xenophobia if not brought under control soon.

Officials at the Creative Workers Union made the chilling forecast at the “Shoot the Pirate” campaign to curb the problem. There have also been confrontations between South African artists and the pirates.

Foreign nationals, mainly Zimbabweans in Johannesburg, sell pirated material in the streets at low prices, and Mabutho Sithole, president of CWUSA believes such ‘trade’ is rife for xenophobia.

“There is a hullaballoo about the defence of rhinos, but nothing is done about defending the rights of artists. The government has not put anything on the table to curb this nonsense. If the government does not intervene, the media will be reporting about more “black-on-black violence,” he told media.

There has, in recent weeks, been a spate of confrontations between musicians and Zimbabweans selling pirated material in Johannesburg. Authorities have struggled to contain the scourge of piracy with running battles between Johannesburg Metropolitan Police officers commonplace.

While piracy is escalating, and negatively affecting the profitability of careers in the arts industry, it has emerged as a major cash cow for the vendors, who operate mainly in Johannesburg.

Pirated CDs and DVDs sell for between R5 and R10. This is way below the R100 that an original CD or DVD is priced at.

Post published in: Entertainment

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