Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Cultural Characteristics and New Methods of Music and Movie Piracy in Nigeria

The Cultural Characteristics and New Methods of Music and Movie Piracy in Nigeria

Piracy of creative works is as old as the history of plagiarism before the invention of printing and broadcasting. And it has been evolving into the different developments in mass communication from the printer to Napster. The most common method of piracy of music and movies is by downloading which is the most common form of digital piracy in the entertainment industry.
The 2013 documentary film "Downloaded" by Alex Winter showed how widespread addiction to downloading songs, movies and other forms of IP is doing collateral damage to the entertainment industry.

In 2011 it was reported that movie piracy cost the Australian economy more than $1.3 billion in revenue in just 12 months..
"The Motion Picture Association of America looked into this belief and discovered that piracy costs around $20.5 billion annually in the United States alone (Plumer, 2). In fact, a study back in 2005 estimated that a 10% decrease in worldwide piracy, including both film and music, over the course of four years would add 1.5 million jobs, $64 billion in taxes and $400 billion in economic growth (Kai-Lung)"
Studies on  movie piracy in Nollywood have shown the complicity of the first marketers of Nollywood movies.
Many of the movie marketers originally got into the business by pirating Hollywood movies, a practice that continues to flourish. “Piracy is not a problem with the system,” said Jade Miller, an academic at Tulane University who has researched Nollywood’s economics. “It is the system, essentially.” Miller’s academic interest is in media policy and the development of creative industries.

The most piratical countries are places like China, Nigeria and Russia, where virtually all media that is not downloaded illegally is sold in the form of knock-off CDs and DVDs.
 Many pirated music videos and movies are still openly hawked on the streets in Nigeria.

The piracy of music and movies is a billion dollar industry of unscrupulous criminals who are actually patronized and supported by the public. In fact in Nigeria, those who want to break into the music industry beg the music pirates to include their songs in their mix tapes of pirated songs and music videos that are commercially distributed by their sales agents and DJs on the streets through laptops and tablets. The pirated songs and movies are downloaded into USB flash drives or SD cards for consumers who pay as little as N50 for one or more collections of songs, music videos and movies.
In my presence, I saw a woman paying for the downloads of two new Yoruba movies. And I have seen an Hausa downloading Hausa songs.

These agents of pirates make thousands of naira daily from many customers of all the tribes in Nigeria and of all religions.
I have seen Christians downloading Christian songs and Muslims downloading Islamic songs.
With their USB drives and SD cards, they have downloaded hundreds of songs and movies and don't need to buy the CDs and DVDs again. Finis.

Hit songs and hit movies are downloaded before they are openly hawked on the streets by vendors of the pirates.
Piracy is a crime. But who will arrest and prosecute the criminals when the law enforcement agents are also downloading pirated songs and movies?
Even the filmmakers and actors are among the consumers.
I have seen popular award winning filmmakers and singers in Nigeria buying  CDs and DVDs or downloading pirated songs and movies of foreign producers. So, what goes around comes around.

~ By Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi | IndieWire

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