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Entertainment of Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Source: Daily Guide

GHAMRO Taskforce Raids Music Pirates

The Ghana Music Rights Organization’s (GHAMRO) anti-piracy taskforce made up of police personnel and task force members has raided and arrested several persons engaged in illegal downloading and sale of music and audiovisual works in violation of Ghana’s Copyright Laws and International Treaties.

The “action film style” massive raid at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle resulted in the apprehension of close to 20 illegal music down-loaders and sellers of pirated audiovisuals. Items seized included laptops, DVDs and other pirated products.

The arrested persons, some of whom were handcuffed, were subsequently sent to the Accra Central Police Station and detained. They are currently being processed for court. Piracy of music and other copyright works carry severe civil remedies and criminal penalties, including a three-year jail term.

Commenting on the operation, dubbed ‘Operation Jail The Pirates’, Carlos Sakyi , Chairman of GHAMRO, stated that anti-piracy raids would continue unabated throughout the country till the pirates whom he described as “thieves and industry destroyers” were brought to book.

He said piracy undermined the legitimate market, impoverished music owners and deprived government of tax revenue, adding that according to INTERPOL, proceeds from such activities were used to fund organized criminal activity including armed robbery, money laundering and drug trafficking.

“That money you are using to purchase the pirated CD or DVD today may be the same money spent on buying the gun used to rob you tomorrow, so stop buying pirated works”, Mr. Sakyi concluded.