Botswana: CIPA Destroys Pirated CDs,DVDs

| February 29, 2016

By Lindi Morwaeng

Gamodubu - About 10 000 copies of pirated CDs and DVDs were on Thursday destroyed on site at Gamodubu landfill in an effort to protect intellectual property rights of creators and innovators of the creative industry.

The CDs and DVDs were valued at P984 000.

Speaking at an event organised by Companies And Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), themed: Destruction of pirated works, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Advocate Sadique Kebonang said events of this nature were important as they provided a platform for the ministry to demonstrate relentless efforts to fight piracy and protect authors' rights.

He said over the years, there has been an increase in the number of pirated works. He said in 2013, they destroyed CDs and DVDs valued at P55 250 while the value for those destroyed in 2014 was P955 000.

The assistant minister explained that the figures showed an unrelenting trend of pirated music and films circulating in the local market.

"This upward trend is worrisome, we cannot allow it to continue as it results not only on loss of income on the part of the owners of the works, but government is also denied opportunity to collect revenue through tax." He stressed.

He further explained that if the full potential of artistes was to be realised, it was imperative to create an environment where the rights of authors and creators were respected, an environment with zero tolerance to piracy.

In destroying pirated works he explained that it was a way of sending a strong message to pirates and would-be pirates that this activity was not condoned in the country.

Advocate Kebonang nevertheless appealed to consumers to stop buying pirated works as it does not only reap artists their source of income but also dented the country's national image, resulting in loss of jobs and investment.

For her part, CIPA copyright administrator Ms Keitseng Monyatsi explained that during the last quarter of 2015, CIPA together with the Botswana Police Service, engaged in massive anti-piracy raids in Francistown, Mochudi, Ramotswa, Tlokweng, Mogoditshane and Lobatse resulting in over ten thousand pirated music CDs and DVDs being confiscated.

Local artiste, Mr Ashley Gops said piracy could be reduced since it was difficult to deal with it completely. He appealed to CIPA to educate artistes to ensure that their works carried a hologram to show authenticity.

BOMU chairperson Mr Michael Mmusi, said pirating resulted in artistes making huge losses on their productions.

Source: BOPA

Category: Human Rights

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