68 Million lost to piracy in Fiji

An estimated 68 million FJD is lost to illegal music sales each year. Mr Tamanisau, the chairman of the Fiji Performing Rights Association said the annual loss to Government on taxes due to piracy of DVDs goes directly to the pocket of pirates.

Mr Tamanisau made the comment when he delivered his opening speech at last years FPRA Music Awards held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

Meanwhile FPRA and the Music Fraternity is still facing multidimensional challenges through the continuing blatant action of PIRACY by unscrupulous business dealers. The buying public, who create the demand for these stolen properties, are also equal partners in crime.

“Surely, our country cannot afford these huge loss. We therefore request the Government through the Fiji Police Force, the Director of Public Prosecution, and the Judiciary to counter this cancerous growth with the full force of the Law.”

According to Tamanisau, a global survey conducted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation showed that the average contribution of Copyright Based Industries  CBI is 5.26% of the GDP.

“Even if we are to assume a very low conservative figure of 1% of Fiji’s  GDP of  $5.243 billion, this still amounts to $52.4 million.”

Mr Tamanisau said that given the global trend that CBI is the fastest growing sector, this fertile revenue generating sector must be seriously considered by Government and factored into Fiji’s future growth plan.

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Eremasi Tamanisau

He added that music was a very important industry in Fiji.

Music is the very essence of our being because it is plays an important part in bringing human society together as it it alive and dynamic said Eremasi Tamanisau.

Mr Tamanisau, the chairman of the Fiji Performing Rights Association said music soothes the mind, heart and soul of every man.

He made the comment during the opening ceremony of the 2015 FPRA Music Awards held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in May last year. He said the award was the most important part of FPRA’s year.

“Today marks the pinnacle of Musical Achievements & Recognition for the works of Composers & Musicians for the year  2014. This is a day of celebration, harmony, love, and unity as we acknowledge and reward fellow Fijians who have made outstanding and significant contributions to the development of Music. “

Mr Tamanisau said musical talent and creativity is something that Fijians are blessed and endowed with and since FPRA was established in 1992, the organisation had been “working consistently to foster the development of music, protect the interest of composers, and open up economic benefits and returns in the fields of Education, Creative Industries, Communications, Media, Tourism, Trade and Commerce, and Intellectual Property Rights.”

FPRA values and respects the work of the pioneer composers in the music industry and so in 2014 it reflected this by inducteeing musicians into FPRA Hall of Fame.

They were Sir Josua Rabukawaqa, Ratu Isireli Racule, Ratu Manu Korovulavula, Dr. Manoa Masi. Eremasi Tamanisau Snr., Percy Bucknell, Ovini Baleinamau, Timoci Gucake, Waisea Vatuwaqa, and Sakiusa Bulicokocoko.

In 2015 another five Composers were inducted but Mr Tamanisau said this would reduce as the years went on.

The FPRA Chair  acknowledged and thanked the Government for its continuing support of the Music Industry which Mr Tamanisau said had manifested in particular by the,

  • Gracing of the FPRA Music Awards 2014 by the Honourable Prime Minister
  • The honour bestowed on the event by the presence of the Minister for Youth & Sport
  • Copyright (Amendment) Decree 2009
  • Establishment of the Fiji Intellectual Property Office (FIPO) in April 2011.

Mr Tamanisau ended the formalities by reminding those present at the FPRAMAs 2015 of the other issues FPRA was concerned about:

  1. LICENSING OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR THE USE OF MUSIC
    FPRA is happy that Air Pacific, now Fiji Airways, Fiji’s major air transport provider, has been licensed for the use of In-Flight music for over 15 years.
    However on land and sea, Buses, Taxis and Passenger Boats, are 3 of the largest users of music (via Radio, CD/DVD, TV, Live Bands). To date, their reluctance to be licensed should be a concern to all the law-abiding citizens on Fiji since they are repeatedly breaking the Copyright Act, a law of the state. However, FPRA will persevere to ensure that Composers are rightfully paid their just dues.
  2. REVIEW OF COPYRIGHT ACT
    We humbly request the Govt to urgently review the Copyright Act so that the Internet Domain (Digital) is incorporated. At the moment, the Internet is not only the Information Highway, but, it is also the Music Highwayman for illegal digital transfer/download of Music.
  3. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has already provided  a good template which Fiji can adopt to protect the Internet Domain, namely the WCT (WIPO Copyright Treaty) and the WPPT (WIPO Performances & Phonograms Treaty). It is our sincere hope that the Govt will act with a sense of urgency on this so that there is relevance in our law.
  4. COPYRIGHT-BASED INDUSTRIES
    A global survey conducted by WIPO showed that the average contribution of CBI is 5.26% of the GDP. Even if we are to assume a very low conservative figure of 1% of Fiji’s  GDP of  $5.243 billion, this still amounts to $52.4 million.
    Given the global trend that CBI is the fastest growing sector, this fertile revenue generating sector must be seriously considered by Govt  and factored into Fiji’s future growth plan.
  5. PIRACY
    Meanwhile FPRA and the Music Fraternity is still facing multidimensional challenges through the continuing blatant action of PIRACY by unscrupulous business dealers.
    The Buying Public, who create the demand for these stolen properties, are also equal partners in crime.

Full speech here: Chairman’s_Address-FPRAMA-16May2015

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