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Chamisa says government must protect musicians and jail pirates

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COMMUNICATION Technology and Courier Services parliament portfolio committee chairperson, Nelson Chamisa, says they are pushing government to impose a mandatory custodial sentence on people who pirate music.
Local artists, especially musicians, have, over the years, been failing to realize the benefits of their work as a huge chunk of their productions are pirated and sold through informal channels.
Although piracy is a criminal offence, the sentences which the courts impose on those found guilty of the offence are very lenient and at most times offenders get away with a small fine.
It is these lenient sentences that Chamisa said they are in the process of pushing government to revise.
“We feel that that government has to move with speed to deal with issues of piracy because Zimbabwe is very notorious and has unprecedented levels of piracy, which is killing artistic talent which is abundant,” said Chamisa during World Press Freedom Day commemorations.
“When you have piracy you are killing the media and musicians who are already suffering, so we must move in and weigh in on people who are pirating and killing music and artistic talent so that we are able to then protect our own sons and daughters who earn a living from the arts industry,” he said on Tuesday.
The MDC-T Vice President said a nine year custodial sentence just like the one which cattle rustlers get would be appropriate.
“There are ways of doing and we all know how we have dealt with issues of stock theft by making sure that whoever is caught purportedly driving cattle that is not yours probably gets nine (9) years imprisonment,” he said
“We must also have very stringent penalties on people who undermine talent especially of musicians, this is our view and government must do something without over regulating because we do not believe in over regulation,” said Chamisa.Advertisement