Publication Date

2005

Abstract

Increasingly, the music industry all around the world is being confronted with the reality of piracy. And while the industrialized nations among which the US, Canada, France and Germany have come up with strategies and technologies to decrease, discourage and even dismantle some piracy networks, Africa has hardly taken off on that route. Consequently, both artists and related actors in the music industry in Africa are seeing their investments annihilated by small greedy interest groups known as pirates. Though there is hope improvements can be achieved, the complexity of the African continent still poses a major question as to how to effectively reduce piracy within her frontiers. As an attempt to offer strategic approaches to reduce such a plague, I have undertaken a number of research including, reading books, articles and checking secondary source interviews in addition to my personal touch with the problem as an African from Togo, to better understand the causes and consequences. Indeed, I have planned to interview major actors in the African music industry. But I encountered a great deal of difficulty. All attempted personal interviews and surveys remained unfulfilled. But I am glad to admit all my findings do agree on piracy as being the virus crippling the industry and none of them disagrees on the enforcement of copyright laws, the unconditional commitment of the governments to invest into the cultural industry and the sensitization of the consumer as being viable solutions to the piracy problem confronting the music industry, an industry, which all experts deem to be a sector of economic expansion. I hope my findings will go a long way to help both providers and consumers of music as well as governments in developing countries understand the social and economic importance of the music industry and thereby endeavor to contribute enormously to its growth for the benefit of all.

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