THE rampant piracy of music CDs in the country has fueled massive job losses in the country’s entertainment industry with over 2 000 job losses recorded, according to Trade Union for Music and Arts Industry (TUMA) general secretary George Emmanuel.
BY ALOIS VINGA
Emmanuel said several local recording companies have been forced to downsize their workforce as business was now low due to the proliferation of piracy.
Top recording companies such as Gramma, Ngaavongwe and Diamond Studios and several music distribution companies, which used to employ thousands of people have been negatively affected.
‘The major recording companies have been affected by piracy to the extent that organisations like Metro Studios have reduced their staff complements from 150 to 20. Currently, there are less than 100 formally employed people in the entertainment sector,” he said.
“The entertainment industry does not only benefit artists but the general public who also get jobs. This fact must be a wake-up call to the public who must help fight piracy.”
Emmanuel also challenged recording companies to revisit their pricing models to ensure that original music CDs were affordable and people would desist from buying cheap and mediocre recordings on the streets.
TUMA organising secretary, Maxwell Maengere, urged the relevant authorities to assist in passing deterrent penalties on those caught pirating music.
‘The challenge we are facing as artists currently is that the police are charging a fine of only $20 while the courts are commuting jail sentences to fewer hours of community service,” he said.
“Such penalties are not matching the investments made by artists in creating their work and at the same time they are not discouraging piracy perpetrators.”