Music piracy now 'out of control'

Apr 27, 2009 (DVB), Music piracy in Burma is now so widespread that counterfeit albums are easier to obtain than originals and musicians are reluctant to produce albums for fear that no profit will be made, said a well-known musician.

Speaking to DVB following World Book and Copyright Day last week, musician Saung Oo Hlaing, who has been out of work for nearly three years, said the situation was now bad.

"The whole market has been dominated by pirated materials," he said.

"The counterfeiters are doing a very good job with a very large distribution flow and they also have established a very wide network among the audience.

"They are even more easily accessible to the consumer than the original materials." Renowned Burmese disk-jockey, Thax Soe, said that piracy was now out of control, and despite complaints from people in the music industry the government has ignored the problem.

"We are now producing music only with an intention to serve our audience and we are doing it with money out of our own pockets," he said.

"Before, you could only find about one or two pirate vendors in across the town but now, you see about 15 of them when you go to the top of your street and the people have the responsibility to handle it are simply ignoring them."

Meanwhile, a film producer said problem was now seeping into the film industry.

"Now our buyer demands are dropping while the same amount of people are watching our movies," said Maung Myo Min.

"When we want to report a piracy offence to the authorities we have to make contact with five different offices, including the police and the immigration.

"That process takes a long time and the offenders will be gone by the time when they start the action."

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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