Po­lice raid DJs in search of pi­rated mu­sic

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Bon­gani Ndlovu Show­biz Correspondent

PO­LICE in Bulawayo al­legedly con­fis­cated DJs’ lap­tops last week as they em­barked on a crack­down on peo­ple in posses­sion of pi­rated en­ter­tain­ment prod­ucts.

The blitz last Thurs­day hit most nightspots in the city and DJs were or­dered to sur­ren­der elec­tronic de­vices such as lap­tops, USB disks and ex­ter­nal hard drives which were sus­pected to con­tain pi­rated mu­sic.

Some DJs opted to pay the $20 fine in­stantly while the rest ap­par­ently got their lap­tops back two days later af­ter pay­ing the fine to the Li­cens­ing and In­spec­torate De­part­ment at ZRP Drill hall. Ac­cord­ing to most DJs, five po­lice­men pounced and told them that play­ing mu­sic from lap­tops was il­le­gal as they had to play us­ing orig­i­nal CDs.

One of the DJs, Flexxy O, who had his lap­top con­fis­cated from Copa Cubana where he op­er­ates from, said: “We asked them why they were tak­ing our lap­tops while we pay Zim­babwe Mu­sic Rights As­so­ci­a­tion (Zimura) to play mu­sic at func­tions and bars.

They said they were from an­other de­part­ment that deals with copy­rights and they were on an oper­a­tion to see if we were us­ing orig­i­nal CDs.

“How­ever, what they failed to ap­pre­ci­ate is the fact some of us, if not most, buy mu­sic from the In­ter­net which is not il­le­gal.”

A DJ who pre­ferred anonymity said he was told that he was con­tra­ven­ing the Copy­right and Neigh­bour­ing Rights Act chap­ter 26.05.

“The guys came while I was play­ing. They met up with the place’s man­ager and they told him that they wanted to take my lap­top as I was in vi­o­la­tion of a cer­tain Act. He spoke to them and paid a fine of $20,” said the DJ.

DJ Nospa, a free­lance DJ, said: “What I don’t un­der­stand is that we’re made to pay for the DJs li­cence which cov­ers all as­pects of copy­right.

Now there’re these peo­ple who can come here any­time to con­fis­cate our lap­tops.

“What hap­pens when my lap­top gets dam­aged or lost while it’s in their posses­sion. Rather they fine you and you pay their fine later.”

Bulawayo po­lice deputy spokesper­son As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Abed­nico Ncube said they were not aware of the raid.

“It’s an of­fence for some­one to be in posses­sion of pi­rated mu­sic and the fine for this is $20. How­ever, we don’t know of any oper­a­tion that hap­pened on the said day and if peo­ple’s lap­tops were con­fis­cated,” said Ass Insp Ncube.

Nightspots that were raided ac­cord­ing to the DJs in­clude Pub Lagon­dola, Club 263, Stop Over and Copa Cubanna. Com­ment from Zimura could not be im­me­di­ately ob­tained.

DJ Nospa, one of the raided DJs

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