Music Thu, 5 Jul 2007

Disentangling the knot of piracy

Quickly, I must define piracy as using intellectual property without permission or acceptable financial rewards to the creators and those who made the published or recorded work a reality.

Royalties come in three forms to creators (composers/writers), publishers and recording companies, in contractual terms as creative, mechanical and moral rights.

Ample information exists on copyright which are not hard to find. Those interested in the subject can contact the Copyright office at the Ministry of Information, COSGA and, perhaps, the Padmore Library.

However, the publishing and entertainment industries (books, music, films) have taken a nose dive into an abyss which appears presently irreversible, unrecoverable and unsettling.

The weapon to wage war on piracy is already available in many countries where computerised Public Address Systems are used in broadcasting, hotels, restaurants, night clubs, etc to monitor all records played and number of times each was played in the past.COSGA should find it and install it in Ghana.

However, to deal with the “street marketing” or retailing which can never be possible because of the large number of unregistered independent producers and the exponential increasing of record retailers, which has created an evasive problem of uncontrollable piracy, a new system of marketing must be sought.

There can be many and there are many.

A new company, a telemarketing company which is a subsidiary of Meliqui Publishers and media company, is setting up a records and film club whose members can buy records and films at reduced prices by virtue of membership, dues, organised and controlled procedures which reduce distribution costs, and the advantage of bulk marketing which succeeds through the economy of scale.

Many record and video marketing clubs have existed in the past. There is none that I know of in Ghana. So Meliqui Record and Video Club, a subsidiary of Meliqui Publishers and Media Consult, has set up one for Ghanaian music and film lovers who want easy access to the market through telemarketing and mail order, that is, through the internet.

They are currently working on membership dues, pricing policy and shall strike agreements with COSGA in terms of royalty payments.

After that the company will be launched; the website and catalogue will be accessible for business along with online membership forms.

The advantage to COSGA and the producers of creative works are enormous.

Those who don’t have time to access the net as with adults in Africa can obtain catalogues regularly but order online.

Non-members can order directly for a fee.

So, at last, Ghanaian films and records can cross borders. Proper accounting figures can be available to COSGA, producers and chart compilers.

Source: ghanamusic.com