President of the Film Association of Malawi and Film Director Gift Sukali says piracy is bad in all angles considering that when work produced by artists is pirated, the creative professionals don’t get their deserved revenue from their work.
Sukali who is also known as Sukez noted that artists and creatives struggle to make a living through their craft due to piracy which is demotivating.
He added that piracy discourages them from investing in equipment and talent development to produce more content that can represent Malawian stories locally and across the continent.
MultiChoice and the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) backs the efforts of the Pan-African Partners Against Piracy initiative, whose focus is to fight the scourge of piracy and protect the livelihoods of thousands of professionals who depend on the content industry to feed their families, hone their craft and support the local economy.
With growing accessibility to internet bundles and Malawi’s burgeoning creative industry, it is also susceptible to the knock-on effects that result from digital piracy.
Music promoter and producer of Malawian hit film ‘Highbrow Khumbo Munthali said: “Demand to buy local content is largely diminished [due to piracy]. Movie theatres, TV broadcasters and streaming platforms would be less willing to acquire a product that has already been viewed by their target clientele.”
In Africa, individuals and large organizations that share content without paying the licence fees owed to the creators, licence holders and distributors seriously threaten the sustainability of Africa’s creative sector.
Vice President of Cyber Services at Irdeto Mark Mulready said any time someone accesses, shares or sells copyrighted content without authorization, they are committing content piracy.
“As high-quality content and streaming technology become more easily available, it has also become easier for pirates to illegally acquire and redistribute content,” Mulready explained.
Figures released by software security and media technology company Irdeto show that users in five major African territories made a total of around 17.4 million visits to the top 10 identified piracy sites on the internet.
This traffic forms part of the total 345.4 million visits by worldwide users to the piracy sites in 2021. The most popular content piracy site tracked by Irdeto attracted 92.2 million visits during the survey period from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.
Streaming piracy is the biggest threat to content owners, broadcasters and operators. The content most often pirated via the internet is software, music, literature and video content, including live sports and the latest series and movies.
With more powerful mobile devices, a smartphone alone can be used for sophisticated cyber piracy.