ANTI PIRACY and appropriate intellectual property rights protections are vital to cultural, creative, and commercial vitality for all artists.
To help ensure Fijian artists are protected and can earn a fair income from their creative endeavours, the US Embassy in Suva, in collaboration with Kulture Entertainment, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and Procera Music Shops, is hosting the Musicians Against Pirates Concert today at Sukuna Park in Suva from 9am to 5pm.
The free concert, which will feature some of the country's top artists, is a way to promote talent and raise awareness about the effects of media piracy.
A US Embassy spokesman said in a statement that although protected by the Fiji Copyright Act, artists continued to be significantly affected by the sale of pirated copies of their music and at times were estimated to lose up to $25,000 per album.
"There needs to be more awareness about the value of originality, and about the harm that pirated goods can inflict on Fiji's artists and musicians," the spokesman said.
"Fiji is admirably working to stop vendors of pirated media from benefiting off the work of others, but consumers also have a responsibility to seek out original products.
"Consumers need to buy products that will return proceeds to your talented artists, and not those who benefit individuals who only steal the work of others.
"Fiji's artists themselves know this story all too well. And we hope that this concert gives them an opportunity to share their experiences with their fellow Fijians."
The embassy spokesman said the US had celebrated and protected innovation and creativity since George Washington signed the first American patent in 1790.
It believes ideas and inspirations fuel the new global economy, help to enrich and share cultures, and drive innovation in sectors art, music, science, and medicine.