Music Piracy Escalate During Lockdown

To chase away the lockdown blues that the country is going through, South Africans have turned to music for solace and companionship. Regrettably, this has resulted in an unfortunate and alarming increase of online music piracy.

The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) has embarked on efforts to raise awareness about music piracy and makes a call to music lovers to access music from legitimate platforms such as Vodacom My Muze, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, Joox, Simfy Africa, Deezer and You Tube Music.

Music has become more affordable, and in some cases freely accessible, funded by advertisers.

There is no reason to pirate music and supporting unscrupulous sources is theft that hurts the artist. At the rate things are going, there will be a lot of damage done by the time things go back to normal.

RiSA’s records show the most popular infringements are on some of the biggest hits in South Africa right now, leading the pack are ‘eMcimbini’ by Kabza de Small; ‘Love Letter’ by Blaq Diamond; ‘Tender Love’ by Sha Sha featuring DJ Maphorisa; ‘Umlilo’ by DJ Zinhle; and ‘Love You Tonight’ by MFR Souls. Also targeted are ‘You’re The One’ by Elaine; ‘SAD’ by Jethro Tait; ‘Jerusalem’ by Master KG and Nomcebo; and ‘The Box’ by Roddy Ricch.

Also hardest hit is the popular award winning gospel ensemble Joyous Celebration. Their latest album Joyous 24 has been heavily pirated and songs are being shared on a WhatsApp line that is publicly asking music lovers to text so that they can receive the music.

RiSA CEO, Nhlanhla Sibisi lamented the state of affairs. “This is our desperate plea to the music loving public to refrain from piracy and do the right thing by accessing music from legitimate sources. The message has been sent out for many years, that piracy robs musicians out of what should be their hard earned money. Musicians make a living from sales of their music and keeping piracy alive will only result in an impoverished music scene.”

The statistics have proved that the songs that were legally downloaded the most in the period preceding the lockdown (a mean average of 8 170 songs per week, using a list of top 40 high priority titles) have taken a knock (down to 7 221).

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