The FINANCIAL — The Georgian Authors Society is planning to monitor all audio-video shops and piracy websites in Georgia to stop unrestricted distribution of music files and software.
“I think we have chosen quite an effective way to battle piracy issues. We hope that after 6-12 months, which is the time period envisioned by the project, a large number, or even the majority, of piracy audio-video CDs will disappear from the market,” said Giga Kobaladze, Director of the Georgian Authors Society.
Because of piracy websites offering free downloads of movies, games and mp3 tracks, demand for CD and DVD products has fallen by 30-40%. However as we found out the majority of products available on the Georgian market were never licensed in the first place.
“Almost all the shops we have in Georgia sell pirated DVDs and CDs. A very small number of them are original,” said Kobaladze. “We have legislation which defines the sanctions against illegal use of audio-video products. The problem is that consistent monitoring of pirated CDs and DVDs has never been carried out.
For the first time the legislation envisages a fine from 500 GEL to 3,000 GEL for unlicensed usage. Repeated cases will be fined from 3,000 GEL up to 5,000 GEL. As we have the very awkward situation of all shops selling pirate CDs, we can only warn and negotiate with them. If they don’t take our warning into consideration they will be fined the above-stated sum.”
According to the National Intellectual Property Centre there was urgent need for serious steps to be taken for improvement of the protection of authors’ copyrights.
“The legislation has existed for a long time however we have had problems with piracy for years. The main issue is low activity from society. They should inform the proper departments when they see such cases. The Georgian Authors Society has now launched monitoring which, we hope, will bring with it the relevant results,” stated the Public Relations Department of Sakpatenti.
As Kobaladze added, this time their monitoring will be very precise, reliable and they aren’t going to deprive the subject of attention like has been happening for years. He notes that the prices of the licensed CDs and DVDs won’t be much higher or different to the piracy ones we have in the shops now.
“This is intellectual work. Intellectual work has to be honoured as it is acknowledged in all civilized countries,” Kobaladze believes.
Because of piracy music shops are now experiencing a crisis. Computer games are sold much better.
“As is well known, piracy websites are the main reason for decreasing demand of audio-video products, but we still have customers that are interested in purchasing video games,” said a salesman of Guru Music, an audio-video shop in Tbilisi. “Of course they can download games from the internet and they do, but sometimes they encounter problems with installation. So for some people it’s complicated and more of an effort than just buying a game and playing it directly.”
As he explained, there are four genres of computer games: strategic, shooter, sports and cybernetics. The last is the least popular one; it’s mostly for adults. Teenagers are mostly interested in serious games. For kids under 12 the favourite genre is shooter; games like Devastation, Brink, Portal 2, Crysis etc.
“When people play computer games they want to entertain themselves. For one’s entertainment no one wants hard or complicated things. It’s very clear that children as well as adults prefer easygoing games that they can enjoy without many complications,” added the salesman from Guru Music.