Airco Anti-piracy campaign 2012-2015 lauch
PRESS STATEMENT AIRCO ANTI-PIRACY CAMPAIGN 2012-2015 LAUNCH
Official launch by Mr Dodo Monamodi, Chairperson of the Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa and fellow independent high profile musicians on Wednesday, 07 December 2011 at 12:30 at Bassline, Newtown – Johannesburg
Firstly, allow me to paint a legal perimeter of the record companies’ operations and protections: South Africa is a party to most international conventions protecting intellectual property. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and industrial designs and models are legally recognised in South Africa, which was one of the first signatories to the Trademarks Law Treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Secondly, the Counterfeit Goods Act (No. 37 of 1997) aims to protect against trading in falsifications of merchandise and products. To constitute an act of dealing in counterfeit goods (those that unlawfully bear or embody a trademark or mimic the appearance of other goods), the act also includes infringement on an intellectual property right. Therefore, the legislation complements the Trade Marks Act (No. 194 of 1993), the Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978) and Section 15 of the Merchandise Marks Act (No. 17 of 1941).
We are gathered here today to launch AIRCO’s Anti-piracy Campaign 2012 – 2015, which is in line with our main objectives to protect the intellectual properties of our members. Ladies and Gentlemen, the record companies and our products (artists) who lose an estimated R500 million each year to piracy. Zahara, Sechaba, Zola, DJ Sbu, Intombi Zoma, Shwi, Lucky Dube, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Steve Hofmeyer, Chicco, Arno Carstens, Rebecca Malope, Mandoza, Joyous Celebration and the late Brenda Fassie are some of the most pirated artists in South Africa. Music piracy is one of the main reasons why young and upcoming local artists don’t make it as artists in South Africa.
The sales of pirated CDs and DVDs were on the increase, which affects the economy, business of our record companies, lives of the artists and employment of our workers. In 2010, the Department of Trade and Industry, related government department and the music industry formations met at the Birchwood Hotel and made a declaration to fight piracy at all cost.
AIRCO IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SOME OF THE GREAT MUSICAL BRANDS AND RENOWNED MUSIC INDUSTRY LEADERS SUCH AS MZWAKHE MBULI AND THEMBKOSI NCIZA FORGED A WAY OF ENGAGING THE SAPS AT NATIONAL LEVEL IN JULY 2011. A WORKING RELATIONSHIP WAS DEVELOPED WHICH CALMINATED IN THE MINISTER OF POLICE, MR NATHI MTHETHWA’S LAUNCH OF SAPS ANTI-PIRACY CAMPAIGN WHICH TOOK PLACE ON THE 2ND DECEMBER 2011, WHICH REVEALED THAT 30 PIRATES WERE ARRESTED AND GOOD WORTH OVER 50 MILLION WERE CONFESCATED.
We hereby congratulate the Minister and his team for elevating the status of piracy to high-crime bracket. We are aware that most of our musicians country-wide were losing confidence in police and government’s fight against piracy, as a result, most of the marched on the streets and took law into their own hands. We call upon all musicians and role players in the music industry to cease fire and do not take law into their own hands. Our new campaign with SAPS will bare fruits in no time. Criminal are warned, NPA and other related structures are at work to curb the crime. This a stern warning to all members of organised piracy crime rings.
Our campaign: a) The AIRCO Anti-piracy strategy 2015 aims to complement all anti-piracy strategies implemented by government, corporate and civil organizations. The strategy provides a vision for focused approach on combating music piracy and meeting the needs of independent record labels (Indie/s).
b) AIRCO’s vision in the next three years (2012 – 2015) is to combat music piracy, grow the Indies’ market share, improve visibility of Indies’ music and artists and promote key issues such as market access and cultural diversity in all national, regional and international platforms.
AIRCO will prioritise the following projects in the next three years (from 2012 to 2015), which are all geared towards the combating of music piracy , development and promotion of the independent music industry:
1. AIRCO/ SAPS counterfeit raids – the joint task force will replace the current mob raids approach, which leads to our members taking law into their own hands and as a result commit more crime such as confrontations, assaults, malicious damage to property, animosity, and man-slaughter.
2. Embark on laws reform drive – the campaign will be used to engage all relevant government structures to improve / amend/ create policies and laws governing music piracy. Starting with by-laws, effective arrests, reliable prosecution by the courts which leads to maximum sentencing of piracy criminals.
3. Public Education – create and participate in all public awareness and education campaigns on the economic effects of consuming of pirated goods.
For the editor:
The Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa is an association incorporated in terms of section 21 of the Companies Act. 1973. Its primary objective is to represent the economic interests of emerging and established independent record companies in South Africa in all aspects of the music industry and to promote independent record companies generally.
Please contact our spokesperson, Mr Mandla Maseko at our AIRCO offices +27 (0) 11 334 6166 or at 076 863 8239