Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Bert Mushala says his ministry has through the registrar of copyright, intensified the fight against piracy and counterfeits products.
Mr. Mushala said a number of court convictions have been secured against perpetrators of piracy and counterfeit products while several other cases are currently under prosecution in the courts of law.
He disclosed in a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today that in Kabwe, Magistrate Temwaninge Mhango on September 1, 2014, convicted Godfrey Kaole, 30 and John Mbewe, 37, for selling audio-visual products, CDs and DVDs, without a hologram.
A hologram is a security feature which by law, is supposed to be affixed on all original audio-visual products to distinguish them from pirated and counterfeit ones.
Mr. Mushala revealed that Magistrate Mhango fined Kaole and Mbewe K1, 200 and K750 respectively or in default, three months simple imprisonment.
And in another court, Magistrate Sebastian Mwenya, on September 27, 2014, fined Paul Bwalya, 38, and Francis Nswana, aged 24, K300 each or in default, three months imprisonment for selling CDs and DVDs without a hologram.
Furthermore, Kabwe Magistrate, Maxwell Shiwanga on September 29, 2014, fined Moses Kangwa, 32, and Stevious Silengo, 26, K400 each for selling compilations and audio-visual works without a hologram.
The Information permanent secretary also disclosed that in Solwezi in North-Western Province, the Intellectual Property Unit of the Zambia Police Service on August 22, 2014, confiscated computers and arrested 29 people for pirating and being in possession of articles used or intended to be used for the purpose of making infringing copies.
He said all the 29 suspects are due for prosecution in the courts of law.
Meanwhile, in Chirundu district of Lusaka Province, police on September 2, 2014, arrested Joseph Chishimba, 35 and Kelvin Mulenga, 28 for advertising and selling DVDs without a hologram even though the products in question were their own works but were in contravention of the law for lack of the hologram.
Mr. Mushala stated that the two suspects are on police bond pending appearance in court.
He further stated that police in Choma on September 24, 2014, arrested four people for selling CDs and DVDs without holograms and for making musical compilations without the consent of the owners.
He said the suspects were released on police bond as they wait to appear in court.
Mr. Mushala reiterated that the hologram is law in Zambia and anyone found selling CDs, DVDs and other musical works without it, will be prosecuted accordingly.
He said this is in accordance with the copyright and performance rights Act of 1994 which prohibits any dealings in pirated audio-visual products.
Mr. Mushala has since commended the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders for working closely with his ministry to stamp out piracy and counterfeit products.
He said this crusade, however, cannot succeed without the support and cooperation of members of the general public who are the consumers of pirated and counterfeit products, knowingly or unknowingly.
The permanent secretary further called on members of the general public countrywide to participate actively in the protection and promotion of intellectual property by saying no to piracy and counterfeits as this has the potential to seriously undermine the social and economic gains of the country.