Musicians robbed by music piracy

Young people at wi-fi hot spots.

The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) is raising awareness about music piracy, saying lockdown blues has resulted in an unfortunate and alarming increase in online music piracy.

RiSA is calling on music lovers to access music from legitimate platforms such as Vodacom My Muze, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, Deezer and YouTube Music.

They say music has become more affordable, and in some cases are freely accessible, funded by advertisers, therefore there is no reason to pirate music. RiSA says supporting unscrupulous sources is theft that hurts artists.

One of the hardest hit is award-winning gospel ensemble Joyous Celebration. Their latest album Joyous 24 has been heavily pirated and songs are being shared on a WhatsApp line that is publicly asking music lovers to text so that they can receive the music.

Nhlanhla Sibisi, the chief executive officer of RiSA, appealed to people to “do the right thing”. “This is our desperate plea to the music-loving public – to refrain from piracy and do the right thing by accessing music from legitimate sources. The message has been sent out for many years, that piracy robs musicians out of what should be their hard-earned money.”