News / Africa

Nigerian Artists Plan Anti-Piracy Task Force

A boy sells a music CD along a road in NIgeria's oil hub city of Port-Harcourt July 8, 2010.
A boy sells a music CD along a road in NIgeria's oil hub city of Port-Harcourt July 8, 2010.
Heather Murdock
Music piracy is so prevalent in Nigeria that most people do not consider buying original copies of the albums they want.  Nigerian musical artists say the practice is killing what could be a booming industry and they are gearing up to fight back.  
 
The country has copyright laws, but by shopping in the markets, you would not know it.  Newly-released Hollywood movies sell for less than $3 and CDs cost about 95 cents.
 
Ranking Deezed is the president of Performing Musicians and Employers Association of Nigeria.   The organization has about 100,000 members.  He said the Nigerian music industry has the potential to become an economic success - like Nigeria's "Nollywood," the third-largest film industry in the world.

“Artists are increasing.  Talents are increasing.  In fact, studios are increasing," Deezed noted.  "We have producers that have studios in their homes.  But then the market is what’s the problem.”
 
What happens in the markets, he said, just about cuts out any chance the artists have of making a profit from their music.  Original CDs are released and sold for a little over $3.  But if the music is good, he says, the market is swiftly flooded with copies sold wholesale for less than 25 cents.

“We learned of some companies, or let me say pirates, in Lagos that duplicate almost like 10 million copies in almost like a week or so.  So that is really bad,” he said.
 
Dezeed said his organization is setting up a task force to catch music pirates and turn them in to authorities.  
 
In northern Nigeria, Copyright Commission law enforcement director Amadu Augustin Aleo said his organization has caught 170 people copying CDs or stealing music and marketing it as their own in the past six months. 
 
He said the punishment can be a more than $1,500 fine or prison time, but the commission needs more support to slow the growing piracy business.
 
And musicians say it is not just people copying CDs and selling them in the markets that is hurting their ability to profit from their work.  They say their music is also regularly shared illegally on the Internet or through mobile-phone ringtones.  

Jerry Marshall has recorded seven albums and said he has been ripped off by pirates more times than he can count. H said the new task force could change all that.

“My advice to those marketers, those who sell music, those who pirate music.  They should be very careful because the law will soon come to them,” Marshall warned.

But he acknowledged that outside the arts community, most people in Nigeria - a country facing security crises, natural disasters and widespread abject poverty - do not care about music piracy.
 
And in this Abuja market, like markets all over the country, young men sell CDs and DVDs openly from stalls or piles in their hands.  Many offer money-back guarantees if the copy does not work.

A lot of Nigerians know they are buying pirated entertainment.  What is not commonly known, is that there is anyone at all who objects.  

Ibrahima Yakubu contributed to this report from Kaduna

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More