News / Africa

Malawi Musician Laments Music Piracy

Lameck Masina
The celebrated Malawian Afro-R&B singer Mayise Kasaru,  popularly known by his show business name Maskal, calls piracy an evil that is hindering the growth of Malawi’s music industry.

In an effort to tackle the problem, the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has introduced stickers for music distributors to paste on all original CDs.

Malawian performer Masiye Kasaru (Maskal)Malawian performer Masiye Kasaru (Maskal)
x
Malawian performer Masiye Kasaru (Maskal)
Malawian performer Masiye Kasaru (Maskal)
But Maskal says some people are duplicating the stickers and pasting them on pirated CDs. He says the development has harmed the sales of his music.

In response, he and a few other local artists are selling their CDs themselves.

“I have been trying to sell my music myself but this is not helping.  For example now people [are selling a CD of my music] on the market. In it, he says they have also included other songs like [those by musicians] Pisky and Armstrong,” he says.

The musician, who is a member of COSOMA, says the copyright watchdog organization is failing to protect the musicians from piracy.

“I am blaming COSOMA because they don’t care about artists’ welfare.  Each and every year they take money from artists but each and every day we see vendors outside there, selling music [illegally with] stickers on the CDs.

“Where do the stickers come from and what are they doing about it? [It’s] killing music,” he asks.   He says the group needs to produce stickers that can not be copied.

Licensing officer for COSOMA Rosario Kamanga told a local daily The Nation media that the organization has cracked down on pirated CDs and their venders.

“For example, recently we confiscated and burned 50,000 copies. These are just part of those we have at our offices,” he said.

Rosario however said even musicians who sell own music without the stickers are flouting COSOMA’s regulations and would be taken to court.

But Maskal challenges this.

“[The COSOMA contracts says] they will protect our record sales, but now that they are failing to meet their obligations, you need to cancel the contract. It’s like that everywhere. If they go to court, they can’t win. How they can arrest someone selling their own music?”

Despite the problem, Maskal say he is determined to succeed in the music industry.

“In five-year’s time I would like to be like these big African artists like Selif Keita, Oliver Mtukudzi and all those that are doing well in their own countries. Nothing can stop me.”

Listen to interview with Malawian musician Maskal
Listen to interview with Malawian musician Maskali
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid