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Intellectual Property: Charma Gal’s Mmokolodi Pirated

With technological advancements of mobiles, file-sharing and social media , Charma Gal’s latest single entitled Mmokolodi is being widely p...

With technological advancements of mobiles, file-sharing and social media, Charma Gal’s latest single entitled Mmokolodi is being widely pirated and has indicated that the song was stolen without her permission.

Charma Gal told Showbiz that the song was only used as an advert for her upcoming album launch on Duma FM, but someone dubbed it and shared it on social media.

Charma Gal said she was shocked to see the song being played all over without her permission. “The song has not even been mastered yet. You all know me and I don’t do singles,” she highlighted.
Charma Gal 

She told Showbiz that they would find a way to deal with the culprits because some of them are even selling the song on iTunes. “I cannot work for someone else to reap the fruits of my hard work,” she said.

Charma Gal’s song has been trending on social media with fans appreciating the talent and lyricism of the artist, but at the same time pulling her down with the illegal file sharing. Piracy has gradually brought the entertainment industry to its knees, but artists continue to suffer the consequences and Charma Gal is just the latest to suffer its effects.

The music industry faces a new challenge in its long-running battle against piracy with the use of smartphones. Mobile applications have eclipsed file-sharing services, but WhatsApp mobile app has been the main carrier of illegal file-sharing of Charma Gal’s new song.

The music industry has been intensifying its efforts to combat piracy, but they have lost the fight against smartphones sharing files. Many people, especially Batswana are at the forefront of the digital download trend and killing the work of artists who do not share their files for free.

Communications manager of Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), Marietta Magashula told Showbiz that she did not know whether Charma Gal’s song was availed for free or not, but indicated that piracy in the digital platform is difficult to handle.

“In Botswana there are no laws regulating the use of content on social media,” she said.

She said piracy would always be piracy regardless of whether it is done on CDs or digital online platforms. Magashula said if people use someone’s intellectual property like in the case of Charma Gal’s song, it is classified as piracy.

However she said if artists willingly share their songs for free online, then there is no problem. She said if found, culprits of this nature could be fined up P20,000 or face jail time. The Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) spokesperson, Seeletso Lekgaba said they are concerned about piracy despite the issue being dealt with by CIPA.

“We only register tangible artistic work that has a hologram,” she said. - Online Sources

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