Govt works on hitches in copyright, piracy

CULTURE, Arts and Sports Minister Dr Pindi Chana said the government is working on addressing challenges in copyright and piracy, calling for collective efforts to succeed.

She said the government  was informed that one of the biggest challenges in the creative industry was copyright infringement and for broadcasters, content piracy.

“I would like to assure you that the government is working tirelessly to address these issues and as you are aware that recently the government formed a special committee to review matters related to copyright infringement and content piracy,” she said.

The minister also thanked all stakeholders including MultiChoice and Azam Media who submitted their comments on the matter.

She further urged operators to refrain from copyright infringement as the government, through the Copyright Office (COSOTA), will not tolerate people who commit such acts.

“I would like to urge all operators and individuals to refrain from copyright infringement. The issue of copyright is guided by international laws and treaties which we as a country ratified so we are obliged to adhere to such treaties,” she insisted.

She gave the sentiments over the weekend during the meeting COSOTA, involving stakeholders and the parliamentary committees on Subsidiary Legislations and Education, Culture & Sports.

The committees called on the government to strongly address all

matters related to copyright infringement and content piracy to

empower stakeholders in the creative industry.

Members of the committees argued that stakeholders in the industry ought to benefit from the content created.

Speaking here during a familiarization meeting organized by the

Copyright Office of Tanzania (COSOTA), the lawmakers argued that copyright infringement and content piracy are serious economic setbacks to content creators in the country.

The meeting was also attended by representatives MultiChoice and Azam Media, the biggest local content creators, who made presentations on how the vice affect them.

Prof  Kitila Mkumbo, chairperson of the Education, Culture and Sports  Committee, noted that there was a need for more public education on the matter because many people might be ignorant on such issues.

He applauded the two content creators for displaying many Tanzanians’ artistic works, thus helping to create jobs for Tanzanian artists.

The Ubungo MP also suggested that Parliament should also come up with strong laws in effort to end the menace.

“This industry provides a platform that can help improve economic status of local artists and increase government revenues” he said, adding that more efforts should be in place to revert the trend.

Deputy Chairperson, Subsidiary Legislations Committee, Ramadhan Suleiman Ramadhan, also noted that piracy was one of the main challenges facing content creation and artistic activities.

He called on the ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports to do everything possible to control piracy.

Tunduru North MP, Kungu Zidadu (CCM), noted that the government should come up with better ways to help Azam Media and DSTv  in the war against piracy for the two companies to help Tanzanians.

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