18 March 2022, Lilongwe – MultiChoice Malawi and the Copyright Society of Malawi have joined forces in the fight to protect Creative Copyright and associated Intellectual Property rights through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, ahead of the launch of the Partners Against Piracy (PAP) initiative. The MOU will ensure that the two partners collaborate in the fight especially against content piracy and awareness raising in line with the Partners Against Piracy (PAP) campaign.
The campaign will consist of activities that will raise awareness by educating the public on the unintended consequences of piracy and the threat it poses to lives, livelihoods, society and personal cyber security. PAP looks to ensure Malawi’s content creators earn a living from their talent and increase the demand for locally produced content through the consumption of their authorized works.
“We are excited and happy to be partnering you [MultiChoice] on this initiative. The signing of this partnership marks the beginning, now we continue into the next phase, which is implementation of strategies to combat piracy” said Dora Makwinja, Executive Director of Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA).
Piracy involves the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, use including sharing or selling of copyrighted content. Piracy is stealing as it robs content creators, artists and entire creative communities of their royalties. It also robs the government of taxes.
The campaign will focus on two main categories of piracy:
- Broadcast piracy which involves the use of video and audio content without the consent of rights-holders.
- Cyber piracy, or internet piracy which is currently the biggest threat to content owners, broadcasters and operators. The content most often pirated via the internet is software, music, literature, and video content, including live sports and the latest movies.
Content piracy globally is at an all-time high. High-quality content and advanced streaming technology has become more easily available and easier for pirates to illegally acquire and redistribute content for illicit profits, documented to fund social ills including identity theft and trafficking.
“In partnership with COSOMA we aim to bring increased awareness to the effects of piracy on the Malawian creative industry and reiterate the Partners Against Piracy ethos, that African Creativity Matters” said Zena Makunje, Corporate Affairs Manager at MultiChoice Malawi.
In Africa where people are struggling with depressed socio-economic circumstances and our attention is on serious issues like lack of income, poor education and health access, the problem of piracy is sometimes simply not considered a priority, and is often considered a victimless crime by the ‘pirates’ as well as the participant. This cannot be further from the truth. Online piracy results in billions of dollars in lost revenue to the media, creative and related service industries and further impacts local economic development by depriving government of much needed tax revenue to invest in social infrastructure and therefore negatively impacts society at large.