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The SAMA saga continues! - The SAMA saga continues

2006-07-14 16:43

First came the announcement that the Best Pop Album category had been amended to include Backstage star Pam Andrews. Her album Here We Go was initially omitted "in error ", but has now been included in the list of nominees. She joins Etienne Steyn, Kurt Darren, Lonehill Estate, Nicholis Louw and Watershed.

MWEB subscribers have already begun to have their say on who they think should be nominated here. Add your voice, however please be aware that the album or record (song) must have been published in the last year in order to qualify for nomination for a SAMA! So, for example Steve can't be nominated for "Pampoen" this year, because it was, of course, on Toeka, his 2004 album.

But darker issues are also being addressed. It seems that the anti-piracy advocates are taking the opportunity to highlight rampant piracy, which experts claim are costing the industry huge amounts of money.

"The availability of local music is something that the pirates use to release their counterfeit cassettes and CDs as soon as a new album hits the streets, " confirms the RiSA Anti-Piracy Unit chief Braam Schoeman. "And of course because South African music is so popular, the pirates do find individuals willing to purchase a pirated recording. I do find it ironic though, that fans can be devoted to an artist but literally steal from them when purchasing a pirated recording. "

Says a press release on the issue: "In addition to taking hard-earned money away from artists, piracy has a more sinister element which is becoming increasingly evident both globally and in South Africa - and that is the link between music piracy and organised crime.

"A preliminary investigation into RAPU's China City raid has already revealed that the infringing goods found at the warehouse are linked to over 30 cases being investigated throughout South Africa, a clear indication that an organised crime syndicate (or syndicates) is at work."

"This means that music piracy is not the soft crime that many people believe it to be, " emphasises Schoeman. It is serious, organised and violent and may be linked to other organised crime activities like drug trafficking and terrorism. "

The links to stealing from sweet shops, indecent obsessions over Patricia Lewis and Steve Hofmeyr, and what Chuck Norris would do if you stole his CD, were not explored in the press release.

- Check out the full list of nominees here and say who you think deserves a SAMA nomination

- Download MP3s (don't worry, they're legal) of SA music here. You'll find a few SAMA winning stars like Steve Hofmeyr there.

- Anton Marshall

The South African Music Awards buzz is building, with some issues coming to light as the big day - May 6 - draws near.

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