Urban Grooves pioneer Leonard Mapfumo pleads for govt intervention on piracy

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

LOCAL urban grooves godfather, Leonard Mapfumo has challenged the government to protect artists’ work through curbing rampant piracy in the country.

While the advent of technology brought growth in the entertainment industry, it had a negative impact as it worsened piracy.

In an interview with on Friday, Mapfumo said in the current digital age, it was important for artists to have their content secure.

“With every technology comes the negatives,” he said.

“The negatives of social media are that anyone can get your music, upload it as their own and get revenue from that.

“In Zimbabwe per se we need to have laws that protect artists.

“At the moment, you will find that intellectual law is not really something that is prioritised but we need the government to come in and help in terms of helping and protecting the arts.

“If that is not done in the next 2 to 3 years, we will continue having works taken that is not owned by those people yet they will benefit from them,” he said.

The ‘Maidei’ hitmaker added that artists could never counter piracy without assistance from relevant authorities.

“As artists, we are persuading the relevant authorities to come in and find ways to help us.

“ZIMURA (Zimbabwe Music Rights Association) is one body that has been lobbying the government to take property rights of artists seriously.

“It is not just us (artists) but also such bodies helping involve the government.

“There is no way that we can have a sustainable system without the government playing part.”

Musicians, producers, writers, sculptors have cried foul over piracy with authorities seemingly turning a blind eye at the vice.

It is now common for vendors to sell music without copyrights from rightful owners.