A MUSIC company has closed two shops in the country following a drop in business attributed to piracy.
Procera Music Shops has closed its shops in Taveuni and Sigatoka and is on the verge of closing its Tavua operation.
It is the only local company recording and producing musical albums of local artists, who depend on royalty money from the sale of their albums.
The company's general manager Mahid Murad said yesterday that they had 10 shops around the country but they now had eight after closing the Sigatoka and Taveuni shops, with the Tavua shop on the verge of closing in few days.
"But if piracy continues, we will have to close down some more shops as there's big time piracy now," Mr Murad said.
"Smaller shops are copying our compact discs and doing business but nothing is being done by the authorities to stop them," he said. Mr Murad said the company had shortened the hours of work for its production department staff by one hour daily.
"But if business keeps going down, we will have to give them one day off every week."
Mr Murad said the company had two workers each at the Sigatoka and Taveuni shops with one worker in Tavua.
He said the company's production department at the head office had eight staff members.
Mr Murad said 80 per cent of the local artists were heavily dependent on money they received from the sale of their albums for survival.
"If nothing is done to stop piracy, the local music industry will die slowly and we will have to close down other shops in the country.
"Even though we have the monopoly in recording and producing the albums of local artists, we still can't survive because of the big time piracy," he said.
Police public relations manager Ana Naisoro was yet to respond to queries on what action police was taking to stop piracy when this edition went to press last night.