THE Zambia Music Copyright Protection Society (ZAMCOPS) has embarked on an ambitious and relentless campaign to improve royalty funds collection and a multi-stakeholder approach to fight music piracy in Zambia.
ZAMCOPS will now collect royalties from all community radio stations and other public music users in Zambia in order to increase the artistes'income and to protect the intellectual property rights of composers against undue exploitation.
Board Chairperson Edify Hamukale said to do this, ZAMCOPS opened two additional offices in Kitwe and Livingstone and has further formed three royalty collection zones namely Southern, Northern and Midlands (Lusaka) which would cover the whole country as opposed to the current situation.
Hamukale said in a statement that the Southern and Northern Zones would be managed by the Livingstone and Kitwe branches while the Midlands would be managed by ZAMCOPS head office in Lusaka.
He said in order to fight piracy, ZAMCOPS would engage the Intellectual Unit of the Zambia police, the Anti-piracy crack squad, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, music recording studios, music publishers, Zambia Revenue Authority, Immigration department, GRZ investigative wings, the musicians themselves and the general public.
"We will also utilise the appropriate clauses of the ZAMCOPS Act of Parliament and lobby for its strengthening to give it enough teeth to bite the social evil of piracy," he said.
Hamukale said Government was also in the process of introducing the Hologram which would make it easier to implement the fight against piracy in the absence of a complainant. ZAMCOPS, Hamukale said, was also forming a Network of volunteer musicians against piracy who are members of ZAMCOPS and would represent ZAMCOPS in every district of Zambia.
"These ZAMCOPS artiste agents will work closely with the Zambia police, the anti-piracy crack squad and GRZ investigative wings at district and local level. We now call upon all interested musicians who would like to volunteer in the piracy fight to register with the ZAMCOPS secretariat in Livingstone, Kitwe and Lusaka within the month of August 2012.
"We want to fight piracy the same way the illicit alcohol commonly known as Tujilijili was fought and we want to liberate society and musicians from piracy which is music's greatest enemy. We have the political will from the Patriotic front Government which we trust. It will happen," he said.