Mpofu calls for tougher laws against piracy

HARARE - Home Affairs and Culture minister Obert Mpofu is calling for  tougher laws to stop piracy, saying it was undermining the business of cultural production more than ever.

Mpofu said the police were conducting regular raids to confiscating pirated material and destroying them.

“We are also lobbying for the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act [Chapter 26:05] to target the consumers and not only the peddlers. 

“We have enlisted the help of the judiciary to ensure repeat offenders are given stiffer penalties, preferably custodial sentences because some offenders are escaping with small fines which are not deterrent enough and in the process, continue to flout the law,” Mpofu said.

Responding to a question on why government was failing to stop piracy in the Senate on Thursday, Mpofu said the police  were conducting regular raids to  confiscate pirated material and destroying them.

This comes as artistes have been reaching out to government to intervene and stop the practice that has destroyed the creative industry, leaving them poor.

“Why (has) the ministry failed to curb incidents of blatant infringement and flagrant breach of copyright legislation where piracy of music, books and other intellectual property rights is being conducted with impunity on daily basis as if there are no laws to stop piracy,”  MDC Manicaland senator David Chimhini asked.

“In terms of Section 219(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is responsible for detecting, investigating and preventing crime among other duties.  As a proactive measure and to be more effective, the ZRP established specialised sections such as the Licence Inspectorate Unit and the Cyber Crime Unit to deal with issues of intellectual property on a daily basis and offer protection to writers, artists and music composers among right holders.” he added

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