Piracy Information

Improve your understanding of music piracy and how it can affect the music that you love to play.

What is Music Piracy?

Music piracy can be defined as the stealing of music. One scenario could be borrowing a friend's CD and burning a copy for yourself. Also, downloading music from the Internet if the song's royalties are not paid. A positive consequence of stealing music is that you get free music for your own personal enjoyment. Some may also appear to profit from piracy. However, the law support full prosecution of those caught pirating and you may go to jail as any common thief.

Music piracy is generally described as the deliberate infringement of copyright and/or trade marks for commercial gain.It covers both physical and Internet piracy.

Physical Piracy

There are three types of physical piracy:

  • Simple piracy - the packaging of the pirate copy is different from the original. They are often compilations, such as the "greatest hits" of a specific artist, or a collection of a specific genre, such as dance tracks
  • Counterfeits - the packaging of the pirate copy resembles the original as closely as possible. The record companies' trade marks are reproduced in order to mislead the consumer into believing that they are buying an original product.
  • Bootlegs/Re dubbing/Remixing - these are the unauthorized recordings of live or broadcast performances, or combing copyrighted music for resale.

Internet piracy

Internet piracy is music compressed, posted and transmitted globally via the internet without permission of the rights holders and available/distributed/shared via websites, email or through peer to peer file transfers. Peer to peer file-sharing results in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues to artists and rights holders across the world.

Why should I care?

Do you wonder why on earth you should you care about ripping music off the internet or illegally burning CDs or DVDs?

  • Music creators need to live - A lot of people who copy and distribute music illegally rationalize their actions by arguing that music creators are rich and music should be free. To suggest that music should be free is the same as saying it has no value—that music is worthless.  It’s not. Music is the work of music creators.
  • Every budding artiste needs a break - Making records is an expensive undertaking.  So is building a career.  If people arena’t willing to pay for the music they love, record companies both big and small will find it increasingly difficult to commit the kind of resources it takes to discover and develop new talent. Music doesn't just happen.  It's written, bar by bar, line by line, by people who work hard to get it right.
  • It's unfair and wrong - It’s unfair to the musicians who are deprived of their dream of making a living from their art. Stealing music also threatens the livelihoods of the thousands of technicians, CD-plant workers, warehouse staff, graphic designers, printers and other non-musicians who are employed in the music business helping to create and deliver the music you listen to. Most citizen would not steal a car or a house as our sense of right and wrong keeps most of us from doing such a thing.  Sure, we know there are criminal penalties, but the main reason we don’t steal is because we know it’s wrong. Yet when it comes to stealing music, people somehow seem to think the same rules don’t apply.  Well they do.


    Machel and Kes the Band for the 2011 Soul Train Awards

    machelThe Soul Train Music Awards for 2011, have nominated both reigning Road March and Soca Monarch, Machel Montano, and Groovy Soca Monarch Kes Dieffenthaller of Kes the Band for the prestigious award in the category of Best Caribbean Performance with their hit singles, “Bend Over” and “Wotless”.

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