Making pirates part of a sea change

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Dec 14 2012, 07:00:01

Moves are afoot to stem the flow of revenue lost to piracy by Nigeria's high-profile film and music industries

Movie lovers hunt for the latest Nigerian films in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, and Guangzhou's Little Africa; Nigerian songs play in clubs from London to Kuala Lumpur. But the lion's share of the profit goes to pirates who didn't invest a penny in studio time or camera equipment.

"By some estimates, for every legitimate [movie DVD] copy that is sold by the producer, another five to 10 copies are sold by pirates," said a World Bank study last year. Music CDs are also mass-replicated, leading to losses valued at hundreds of millions of dollars for the film and music industries.

Developing countries have increasingly been looking to creative goods as a source of revenue, according to the study. Asian economies accounted for more than three-quarters of total exports of creative goods from the global south. In Latin America and the Caribbean, exports of creative goods more than doubled - from £2.1bn to $5.3bn - between 1996 and 2005. But Africa, which accounts for less than 1% of creative goods exports, has been left behind.

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