According to the Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa), online music piracy has soared since the lockdown began.
Among the most pirated songs are eMcimbini by Kabza de Small; Love Letter by Blaq Diamond; Tender Love by Sha Sha featuring DJ Maphorisa; Umlilo by DJ Zinhle; Love You Tonight by MFR Souls as well as the Joyous 24 album by Joyous Celebration.
“There is no reason to pirate music and supporting unscrupulous sources is theft that hurts the artist. At the rate things are going, there will be a lot of damage done by the time things go back to normal,” Risa said on Monday.
Risa has encouraged the public to instead use official music streaming platforms to access music on their mobiles.
Its stats show that the songs that were legally downloaded the most in the period preceding the lockdown – a mean average of 8,170 songs per week, using a list of top 40 high priority titles – have taken a knock, down to 7,221.
“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, said Risa CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi.
“We ask music lovers to support real talent. Musicians make a living from sales of their music and keeping piracy alive will only result in an impoverished music scene. We understand that the current lockdown in the country has left many in need of entertainment, but let’s support our artists the right way and not commit a criminal offence.”