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Zambia destroys pirated music

afrol News/ZANIS News, 6 February - The Zambian government has destroyed pirated products worth 6 billion Zambian kwacha (over a million euros) at the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) station in the Zambian northern border town of Nakonde.

The pirated materials include audio tapes, DVDs and VCDs.

Speaking before the destruction of the materials, Zambia's Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Mike Mulongoti said government was losing colossal sums of revenue through piracy.

Mr Mulongoti observed that it was not only government that was being robbed of revenue but also copyright owners who labour to produce music and other works.

He said through the raids conducted between 2007 and 2008, pirated materials worth billions of kwacha have been seized in the border town of Nakonde.

The minister, who is also chief government spokesperson, called on stakeholders dealing in intellectual property and copyright issues, to join hands with government in the anti-piracy crusade.

Mr Mulongoti said there was need for harmony among institutions such as Zambia Bureau of Standards, the Patents Office, Ministry of Agriculture, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the Zambia Revenue Authority in combating piracy.

The minister further said for government to effectively fight the problem of piracy, counterfeits and copyright infringements, various pieces of legislation would need to be harmonized.

He called on the Zambia Police Service and Zambia Revenue Authority, ZRA, to step up their efforts in prosecuting the culprits.

Mr Mulongoti also warned the anti-piracy officers against falling prey to bribes from people dealing in pirated products.

The minister also reiterated government's commitment to the eradication of piracy in the country.

Mr. Mulongoti said government has stepped up measures to curb piracy through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

"The commitment begins with strengthening the Copyright Unit in my ministry whose budgetary allocation has been doubled to enable it step up anti piracy activities." said Mr. Mulongoti

He said government was also in the process of amending the Copyright Act in order to effectively fight piracy in the country.

At the same function, Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary, Emmanuel Nyirenda said the fight against piracy was not an easy one as it concerned people with a lot of money.

Mr Nyirenda said the anti-piracy crusade required support from all stakeholders.

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