Piracy puts Guyana's music industry at risk

State's inability to crack down on copyright infringement blamed for preventing local musicians from breaking out.

    Musicians and singers in Guyana have called on the government to crack down on copyright infringement, warning piracy is putting the country's unique music industry at risk.

    Existing legislation in the South American state is 50 years old and does not take into account the appearance of CDs, DVDs and MP3s.

    The loophole allows music pirates to make copies of tracks with impunity and streets in the capital Georgetown are replete with hawkers selling bootleg copies of songs.

    Entertainers find it difficult to sue those who copy and sell their music, and in the rare occurrence they successfully do, fines are so low, there are little point in taking legal action.

    Al Jazeera's Virginia Lopez, reporting from Georgetown, said the popularity of counterfeit music was preventing local musicians from breaking out.

    "An original CD by a local artist costs five times more than a copy of a world-renowned artist," she said.

    "In a market this small this price difference means they stand very little chance to succeed in their own country."

    Teni Housty, a lawyer, says politicians are doing little to stop the violations.

    "You can create the momentum for change but this will be stopped at the doors of parliament," Housty told Al Jazeera.

    Guyanese musicians hope that by protecting the music industry, they will be able to make their culture stand out from their Caribbean neighbours.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.