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Monday, June 4, 2012

I call on artists to learn something from piracy and capitalise

The biggest challenge facing the creative industry in Mzantsi is illegal duplication of their works. This is seemingly a global phenomenon, in developing countries online distribution has been employed in attempts to combat this plague. In some African countries I have heard that in desperation and need to get something from your works you would sell the right to duplicate to one pirate who then floods the market with the counterfeit. Which many artists reckon its better than being a loser twice.

On the Mzantsi reality online distribution has many challenges. Most people access the internet from their phones which has major limitations; secondly not every second citizen has a credit card which enables them to buy online.

The above then places the “pirate tactic” the helm. VISIBILITY! It is imperative that your product be visible and affordable. A product pushed by a guy who knows that his meal depends on the units pushed does better than a product represented by someone who gets his salary whether product moves or not. How many of us sing along to music we hear on radio but never visit record stores everyone has songs on their phones and few actually own the works legally. I am a firm believer that shelves do not approach and convince people to buy CD’s then a representative on the taxi rank or bus terminus is convenient.

Just imagine troops in the rank selling authentic material from one source this won’t only create jobs but also assist artists push units. Sometimes people don’t buy music not because they don’t afford but given their work schedules they are unable to visit record bars. Cd’s are impulse goods for plenty; they will buy it if they see it but won’t go out of their way to buy music.

I call on artists to learn something from piracy and capitalise, it is obvious seizing material and chasing pirates away is not working. Restructuring and hustling like a pirate will.

By Yahkeem Ben Israel (Guest Writer)

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