Piracy continues to bruise careers of musicians in the country as afro-soul singer Lawi becomes the latest casualty with his new album, Sunset in the Sky.
Lawi launched the album in Lilongwe on December 2 2017 and has since been selling it at K10 000 in designated shops in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
But The Nation has observed that vendors are selling the pirated copies of the album at K2 000 in Mzuzu.
In an interview on Friday, Lawi’s manager Emmanuel Maliro confirmed that the album has been pirated, stating that the situation is worse in Mzuzu.
“Our fans should note that we have not given copies of our album to vendors for sale. The only official selling points are PC Merchants and Salon Solange at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre, Mzuzu Coffee Den in Mzuzu and KB Fashions [City Mall] in Lilongwe,” he said.
Maliro said the album is selling at K10 000 because of high cost of production.
“We have invested a lot to make sure that the album is of international standard.
“Malawians need the best things and the cost would be inevitably high to achieve high quality music. So, fans need to support us by buying the original works,” he said.
Maliro said they are monitoring the situation to report culprits to relevant authorities.
The Copyright Act of 2016, Section 88 (1) outlaws any act to reproduce, fix, duplicate, extract, imitate or distribute any work without the consent of the author.
The Act in Section 113 (1) says any person who infringes any copyright commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine of K5 million and to imprisonment for two years and in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine of K25 000 for each day during which the offence continues.
Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) board chairperson Charles Sinetre said the law is in full force and anyone caught will be answerable.
“As Cosoma, we are doing sensitisation campaigns for people to know the Act. In this case, those found with pirated copies will be subjected to the new law to deter would-be offenders,” he said. n