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12.06.2007 General News

Piracy is killing Ghanaian music industry


Piracy is believed to be a phenomenon which is not only biting hard at the financial value of Ghanaian musicians, but has remained an unresolved problem which has eaten deep into the fabric of Ghanaian music and film industries.

In Ghana today, the environment is very conducive for piracy. Music lovers are willing to buy the pirated works not because they are cheaper but due t to the fact that the majority of them have poor purchasing power.

Two decades ago, the Ghanaian music industry did not experience the activities of pirates. But today, the whole country has been plagued by piracy as far as music and films are concerned.

The problem of piracy started gaining grounds in Ghana in the early 1990s when hip life music was introduced.

It capitalized on the vacuum created by the continued absence of the pre-requisite structures and an efficient network to smoke out the mafia that has become almost invisible, operating underground.

Investigations reveal that over 60 percent of creative works on the Ghanaian market are suffering as a result of activities of pirates.

Music producers, as well as some stakeholders have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of pirates who are vittually having a field day. ".'

Today, these undesirable elements have ompletely taken over the music and film industry in Ghana through the establishment of a mafia clique at Kantamanto in Accra and some secret locations in some parts of the country.

The pirates are surviving because they have good links with some of the stakeholders in the industry which has made it difficut for the security agencies to track them down.

Nana Yaw Amoako, a music producer said he feels discouraged to continue music production because of the activities of pirates.

According to him, unless something is done immediately to halt their activities, he would not invest in the industry again.

John Mensah Sarpong of JMS Music Production, based in Kumasi, also complained bitterly about the activities of pirates in Ghana.

According to him, he was a victim of pirates long ago.

"Most of the musical works I have produced have been pirated, depriving me and my artistes of huge sums of money."

A few weeks ago, based oh the frustrations he had gone through at the hands of pirates; John Mensah Sarpong, who is also the chairman of Ghana Association of Phonogram Industry (GAPI), person all a team of security personnel to arrest suspected pirates,operating within Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.

"Considering the' long list of victims of piracy, most of the artistes have decided to be watchdogs over their productions, spending huge sums of money on their monitoring teams to check the activities of pirates.

Source: Daily Guide