PIRACY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE
Piracy remains the nightmare of copyright owners. The problem is expanding very quickly in several countries. Mauritius is also experiencing this problem mainly with sound recordings and music video. The authorities are looking for several solutions that will help to alleviate piracy in Mauritius. For example, we rely upon the IFPI Policy on Post-Production as well as the International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC) to fight against the problem. Both policies are highly recommended by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
IFPI's Post-Production Anti-Piracy Device Programmes
The term 'Post-Production Anti-Piracy Device Programmes' is used as a genetic term encompassing a variety of physical devices such as holograms, stickers, banderols or labels placed on products prior to their distribution into the retail chain to facilitate the fight against piracy.
Regional Coordinator Africa IFPI
Notice of Protection Copyright Act (1997)
The Mauritian Copyright Act (1997) stipulates at the section 28 (1) that "Where a copy of a sound recording is made for commercial purposes, there shall be printed on the label or on its container a notice consisting of (a) the symbol P; and (b) the year in which the sound recording was first published..." Furthermore, at the subsection 4, it says that "No person shall deal in, or have in his possession, a copy of a sound recording referred to in subsection (1) unless a mark or stamp of the Society is affixed to its label or container." This practice is designed to enable quick and clear-cut decisions about the legal or infringing character of a product, a sound recording or music video. This is done by making each legitimated copy with the device which is commonly named 'vignette' or 'timbre' in Mauritius. The main benefits of such programmes are that they can allow quick action when infringing content appears in the streets. Additionally, they can facilitate high numbers of seizures. People engaging in infringing activities are often able to obtain stamps or other devices improperly, usually by counterfeiting. In such case, making enforcement against piracy becomes difficult.
The International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC)
The ISWC is a unique, permanent and international recognised reference number for the identification of musical works. The ISWC, which is of world-wide standard, begins with the letter 'T', followed by a nine-digit unique number and an additional check digit at the end. Each Society has its own numbering system. Most societies and organisations still require their own internal identification numbers.
Other forms of piracy
Piracy is not only defined as selling an infringed copy of a work. Someone who copies or uses a registered work, without the expressed authorisation of the copyright owner is committing piracy.
MASA's roles about international infringed CD's on its territory
Through the reciprocal agreements signed with other sisters Societies, MASA is compelled to represent the interests of the members of the Societies, in case of counterfeit and piracy.
Anti-Piracy Unit (APU)
Since the year 2001, the Police force of Mauritius has special unit, namely the Anti-Piracy Unit (APU), to fight against piracy. Thousands of infringed CDs have been seized all around the island. Since the beginning of year 2004, APU has a new team leader name ASP Seebaluck. During the 'Island Wide Operation' on the 16th of January 2004 - the APU with the help of other Police Units seized more than two thousand infringed CDs all over the country.