Zimura applauds Apoz's licence cancellation

HARARE - Zimbabwe Music Rights Association, Zimura yesterday applauded the ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs’ move to revoke the licence of Innocent Matsengarwodzi’s Anti-Piracy Organisation of Zimbabwe (Apoz).

Polisile Ncube, Zimura director said: “In response to the revocation to the license of Apoz, Zimura would like to express its gratitude to the ministry of Justice for this move.

The existence of Apoz had been an Achilles heel in the fight against piracy, hampering and frustrating our efforts to contain the scourge.”

Ncube said the revocation was overdue.

“Zimura has been looking forward to this move for over a year now since Apoz started asking pirates to subscribe to it. Copyright stakeholders should now get together and come up with workable strategies to eradicate piracy. It is now time for the police to take action and remove pirates from the streets of Zimbabwe.”

Zimura said pirates must be warned as her organisation will work extra hard to fight piracy.

“We will leave no stone unturned and now that our fingers were burnt before we will be more careful in selecting who we engage as we fight piracy.

“Piracy is a cancer within the music industry and indeed the entire arts industry. It must be eradicated as it kills artists and creativity. We cannot live without art and we must take it upon ourselves to preserve the artistic minds that God blessed us with.”

Ncube said Zimura will continue to fight for the recognition of Intellectual Property Rights and see to it that copyright is respected all over the country.

“We would like to thank the minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa for listening to our pleas to have the Apoz license revoked. The government of Zimbabwe through Chinamasa’s action has shown its support to the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Zimbabwe and adherence to International Property Rights (IPR) Conventions that Zimbabwe is signatory to. Zimura would also like to thank minister Shamu who is also the Patron of Zimbabwe Union of Musicians (Zum) for his valuable participation in anti-piracy activities.”

She added that the fight against piracy should be a concerted effort.

“We will now work with artistes, the police, public prosecutors, magistrates and other stakeholders to eradicate piracy. Artistes should unite and speak with one voice so that they may be listened to.”

Zimura called upon all those who were made to pay licence fees to Apoz monthly or otherwise to contact their offices.

Chinamasa wrote to Matsengarwodzi of Apoz on September 26 revoking a licence that the ministry once granted him.

The letter read in part: “This letter serves to notify you that, as minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, I have revoked the licence which I granted to your organisation on June 9, 2009 in terms of section 26 of the Companies Act (Chapter 24:03). This follows my letter of April 12, 2012 wherein I wrote to you, notifying you on my intention to revoke the licence after my ministry received numerous complaints against the illegal activities of your organisation which have negatively impacted on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in Zimbabwe especially in the area of copyrights."

“You were afforded an opportunity to make representations regarding such allegations and you failed to do so. To that end, the licence is hereby revoked and your company no longer has the privileges which it used to enjoy under such a licence. Accordingly, I direct your organisation to immediately stop all activities that it was carrying out.”

Chinamasa’s correspondence also copied to Shamu serves as a right step in the fight against piracy in Zimbabwe.

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