THE Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) in collaboration with Dar es Salaam police force seized properties of three businesspeople in Kariakoo, allegedly for being involved in the production of counterfeit CDs.
COSOTA Senior Copyright Inspector, Paul Makula said that suspects’ production equipment had been seized during an impromptu inspection.
They were alleged to produce counterfeit CDs for local and foreign artists’ works. During the inspection, it was found out that the suspects were working without the consent or contracts from the artists that would otherwise give them legitimacy to produce that content.
“In doing so, they are exploiting artists from earning their rightful and whopping amount of cash from their artistic work,” he said.
One of the manufacturers whose properties were seized was ‘Sanyiwa Production’, where its supervisor Frank Manyama revealed to journalist that they have been producing an average of 3000-4000 CD copes per day and sell them to wholesalers at a price of 700/- each thus collecting 2,800,000/-.
According to COSOTA Legal Officer, Lupakisyo Mwambinga, the act is an infringement of Copyright or Neighbouring rights to which, the civil remedies and criminal sanctions are applicable.
He said the offence is punishable by imprisonment for not less than six months to three years or a fine of not less than 20m/-.
He further added that the operation is sustainable and it is focused on protecting artworks in the country.
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“This operation is sustainable, it aims at protecting the works of art in this country; it has been a habit for individuals to seek life through shortcuts by performing illegal activities which in turn exploit those who legally own those assignments.
COSOTA will continue this operation to identify the perpetrators,” said Mwambinga. COSOTA was established under section 46 of the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, No. 7 of 1999.
The Copyright Society of Tanzania is vested with power to administer the Copyright Act. This in itself is a great improvement on the old Act which, among other things, did not provide for an Institution to administer the Act.
It took more than four hours in the streets of Kariakoo to search for those illegal manufacturers.
Among the equipment seized during the inspection was that of Sanyiwa Production; in which during the inspection they caught a CD cover that had a group picture of several local artists such as Nasibu Abdul alias Diamond Platinumz together with his crew ‘Wasafi