The International Intellectual Property Institute completed a three day workshop focused on training a delegation from Southern Africa on ways to combat music piracy, particularly in the form of counterfeit compact discs and cassette tapes. The workshop provided an in-depth discussion of intellectual property rights in music products, how to identify counterfeit CDs and cassettes and policy options that could be employed to counter such piracy. The workshop featured speakers from the US Copyright Office, the Recording Industry Association of America and other experts.

Fake CDs and cassettes is a prevalent issue throughout the world. As is the case with most other regions facing this problem, the counterfeit music products in Southern Africa tend to be of both international and local artists. However, local artists are particularly affected by such piracy because the counterfeit CDs and cassettes undercut legitimate products to such a degree that it prevents a local music industry from forming.

IIPI’s workshop was designed to be a “train the trainer event” and was provided for a delegation of seven individuals from Botswana and Swaziland, all with responsibility of training and educating others in both government and the private sector. Thus, the lessons learned at the workshop will be passed on through further training activities that delegation members will lead.

Photo © Amanda Rhode 2006