by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
akon, copyright, sierra leone

Now That Sierra Leone Has Its Own Draconian Copyright Law, It Too Can Create Its Own Akon

from the say-what-now? dept

jupiterkansas points us to the news that Sierra Leone, a country with a per capita annual GDP of $311, which apparently puts it right near the bottom of the Human Poverty Index (above only Niger and Afghanistan), has decided that a key priority should be passing a new copyright law that will put "pirates" in jail for three years. The politicians supporting the bill seemed to use the claim that this would allow the music industry to employ more youths, in a country with notorious unemployment for young people. However, as the article notes, a bunch of young people are freaking out that this is actually killing their job opportunities:
At PZ, the so-called business center of Freetown, some youths told Salonejamboree that the new Act would put them out of business. Tejan Kabba, a dealer in music and video cds, appealed to the Government to take a second hard look at the Copyright law and restrict it to just local songs and films.

Similarly, Ali Kargbo said trading in pirated cds has been paying his school fees since he migrated from Lunsar in search of a better life in the capital.
Even more ridiculous? The industry group behind the bill claimed that passing this law would help local artists "compete with Akon" on the international stage:
At State House, the President of Cassette Sellers Association (CSA) described President Ernest Bai Koroma as a ‘Prophet’ and the ‘Peoples Leader’. Abubakarr Kamara said he is looking forward to Sierra Leonean artists competing with the likes of Akon and others in the international market.
Yes, because all that was missing for the next Akon to come out of Sierra Leone was local copyright laws? Huh?

In the meantime, can someone send the Sierra Leone government a copy of SSRC's report on "piracy" in emerging markets, and how enforcement strategies don't work at all and can backfire badly?

Reader Comments

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  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 26 Jul 2011 @ 12:06pm

    MAFIAA should be proud

    Despicable huh MAFIAA? But not unexpected from the low lives in there.

    As mentioned above, I can see how you'll make billions out of this amazingly rich country where copyright is the biggest of the problems.


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