AS local recording studio Procera Music begins preparations to hold its annual music festival at Nausori’s Syria Park next week, local artists continue to lament the failure of authorities to do anything about piracy.
Speaking at the launch of the Ministry of Health-sponsored Procera Music Festival, renowned local musician Seru Serevi said the lack of enforcement on copyright laws was ripping artists off.
“This festival is just another stage to let the people know the fights we’ve been fighting over the years, it’s been a real struggle,” he said.
He said piracy was evident in many shops and street corners and local artists remained at a loss as to why nothing was being done by authorities to stem the problem.
“We hope avenues like this will help us, we’ll take the stage and tell the law enforcers about our fight.”
Procera Music managing director Mohammed Akief acknowledged that the government was working to win the war on piracy, saying the newly established Fiji Intellectual Property Office (FIPO) was proof of this.
FIPO was established last year by the government to look after intellectual property rights.
“We have a lot of confidence in this government and we see they have brought the FIPO unit to help stop piracy and we believe results will definitely come by the end of this year,” Mr Akief said.
Serevi said local artists were thankful the government had made changes to legislation in order to make it easier to prosecute pirates, however, enforcement remained an issue.
“We are thankful that they had changed section 121 of the copyright act but it’s like a lion with no teeth, they need to enforce the law otherwise it’s just a piece of paper,” he said.
Serevi said local artists were hoping to speak with the Ministry of Education to include anti-piracy laws in education.
Meanwhile, the Procera Music Festival will begin this weekend with the opening to be held tomorrow. The event promises to entertain with performances from Savu Ni Delai Lomai who are returning after three years, local artists Georgina Ledua and Jale Mareau are also expected to grace the stage.