Stop piracy to protect our music industry, urge musicians

Local lead musicians and music composers called upon fellow artistes, fans and media to support their fight against the widespread culture of music piracy in Bangladesh. The call came at an event titled “Music Piracy in Bangladesh: Challenges and Remedy” organised by BIPF, Bangladesh Musical Bands Association (Bamba) and LCS (lyricists, composers, singers) Guild, on 14 September, 2013 at the EMK Centre, Dhaka.

Representatives from various organisations attended, including LCS Guild’s President, singer and composer Alauddin Ali, BIPF Chairman Kazi Zahin Hasan and CE ABM Hamidul Mizbah, Bamba President Hamin Ahmed, Co-President Fuad Nasser Babu and former president Maqsoodul Haque. Haque said, since 2007, major bands had stopped releasing albums because they were not given the proper rights to their music.

Music piracy in Bangladesh currently costs the industry $180m (nearly Tk14bn) in lost earnings, with only 5-10% of the total market consisting of legal music purchases, according to a 2008 research by Havocscope, a global black market data provider.

The debate swings both ways, with retailers often claiming they have full rights over the music, if it is bought by them from musicians. On the other hand, musicians and composers argue it is their exclusive property, and so, the credit must be attributed at all times.

“Our right to creativity is absolute and you must acknowledge them,” said Hamin Ahmed. “Just because we give them the rights to sell, [it] does not give them ownership over our work.” Fuad Nasser pointed out that due emphasis on the existing laws could protect musicians’ rights.

Speakers, however, lauded a recent report on the music trade by Channel 24, which documented details of how musicians are robbed of due credit to their music. Copyright Adviser Manzurur Rahman focused on the lack of awareness about the issue, and urged fans and the media to collaborate with the BIPF to support artistes to retain their rights to their creative works.

Source: Dhaka Tribune