THE Western Musicians and Entertainers Association (WMEA) has acknowledged Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for his role in trying to ensure musicians, artists and intellectual property owners get their just dues.
Citing the signing of the memorandum of understanding last week between the Fiji Intellectual Property Office (FIPO) and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, WMEA treasurer and recording engineer Rusiate Nakuta Ralulu said the initiative brought forward by the government would build a bridge of hope, encouragement, enthusiasm, faith and confidence for all, especially those who were passionate about soulful music in Fiji.
"It portrays a positive message to the international community of government's pro-active stance in protecting the intellectual property rights of its people," Mr Ralulu said in a statement.
"In addition, we commend FIPO for its efforts and advice.
"The organisation is well-versed with intellectual property and we are humbly appreciative of its assistance in this fight against piracy.
"We believe the collaboration between FRCA and FIPO will effectively weed out corruption and piracy and other illegal activities associated with them."
Mr Ralulu said before the spread of piracy in Fiji, recording companies offered attractive recording contracts to artists in terms of financial assistance, advanced royalty payments and royalty from recording sales.
"This system became a norm which had an income-generating arrangement under which the artists benefited, allowing them to earn a regular income and support their families," he said.
"These recording companies also paid income tax and VAT to government for every CD or DVD sold."
However, he said with piracy running rampant, much had changed for the worse for musicians.