Unless law enforcers are drilled on authentic arts products on the market for them to detect and confiscate pirated materials during their operations, the war against piracy will never be mitigated in the country.
This has been said by some of the country’s concerned musicians who used to make more sales of their music through CDs and cassettes before piracy reared its ugly face.
Currently, markets are flooded with pirated material such as music, which is simply loaded in memory sticks. Often times, the police do not carry out operations without involvement of Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) officials.
Gospel musician Lloyd Phiri said. Piracy has hit local musicians who rely on the masses from remote areas to buy their music.
“Today a police officer can pass by a vendor with pirated copies of music CDs or memory sticks loaded with music without taking action or knowing that its illegal material. Therefore, the law enforcers need to be drilled on aspects of original art works that are found on the market. They should also develop a general attitude and interest in protecting artworks of fellow Malawians for the good of our country.”
He said though piracy was a global phenomenon which has compelled many institutions such as Cosoma to come up with new ideas aimed at reducing the suffering of artists.
“It still needs efforts from the law enforcers to instill a sense of discipline among those that pirate the works of other people,” Phiri said.
One-time best music sellers such as Lawrence Mbenjere, Moses Makawa and Joseph Nkasa also bemoaned that piracy has gone out of hand because law enforcers simply wait to be told by Cosoma to conduct raids.
Reacting to the growing concerns of the poor law enforcement on copyright laws, Cosoma said it was aware of the gap and was working on it.
“In a bid to find better ways of enforcing the Copyright Law in the country with maximum involvement of the Police, the executive director and the senior licensing officer met the Inspector General of Police, LextonKachama, and the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Bandawe, late last year. The idea was to inform the senior police officials on the role of the Police on enforcement matters and also to find ways of how police officers can be attached to the Society,” said Rosario Kamanga, Cosoma’s senior licensing officer.
He described the meeting as success saying it enhanced the Cosoma’s cooperation with the Malawi Police Service (MPS). However, he indicated that actual involvement of the police on enforcement matters was still waiting a formal commitment from the Police anytime soon.