Blesok no. 29, November-December, 2002
On the complimentary copies of the album by Tose Proevski– If you look me in the eyes, that is to be released within hours, almost every new song begins with the warning “buy only the original medium, not the pirate one”. This request, that the publisher Production MRTV and especially the new executive producers (the management team) of the great Macedonian star rightfully insist on, is not unknown to the Macedonian journalists. They are probably the only ones who remind the public that this country has to implement the laws, in the papers they write for. In this case that is the copyright law, which is still not implemented in our countylett, independent and sovereign Macedonia. As if we wait for someone from abroad to come and start straightening the matters. Or maybe to beat our hands with a whip, and shriek at us that we have forgotten, that we are carried away… etc. And then “our people” will be pretending to start taking care, they will start visiting the shops, the markets, they will start collecting the “CD toll”. Probably, in their “successful action” they will collect the long-play thingies for common people’s entertainment. In the ideal case, they (the CDs) may end up accumulating dust in some warehouse, and it is even more possible that they will never be destroyed (eg. like the million copies in China). Definitely, they will play “hide and seek” with the ones that represent the last link of the well– developed chain that spreads throughout the Balkans. So, that is how it will end, more or less. But, that’s not the point at all. The fact that a few thousand CDs will be collected (nicely, with quarrels, hostility or use of violence) doesn’t mean a thing. All in vain. And in spite of the fact that these steps are also a kind of action that the authorities have to take. The state will start its action by throwing out the pirate (computer) system that represents at least half, if not more, of the equipment of the state apparatus. Then, the imports (imported goods) have to be stopped, because it is clear that the “business” is supported by these products that were imported from the east (in the past) and now are imported from the north of our country. Only after this is done, the circle may be tightened by inspection of the domestic whiz kids’ “publishing”, whose share of the loaf is symbolic, but not insignificant (some admit: Thanx God, one can live on crumbs, as well”. To be honest, most of them do not hide that for a period of time they’ve been preparing for work in “normal conditions” and sales of original products, believing that will happen “sooner or later”. As an addition to this (at least the bigger ones, with nice locations and flourishing business) will say “we will be relieved from the burden”, but…
Let’s be realistic: maybe what is said is valid, but the loudest ones against the pirates, the publishing houses, also have to become aware of a few things. They will have to accept the reality and to start selling their CDs with an acceptable price. A price that will cover the expenses, the rights and the profit, of course. But, the price mustn’t correspond to the western one (ranging from 700 to 900 MKD, 15 EUR or 15 USD), but it should be on the same level as the price in our neighboring countries, Bulgaria or Serbia (12 Lev, 400 dinars, 400 denars, at the most). In these countries, the CDs from around the world also cost app. 400 denars.
Oddly enough, we refer to examples from states that the illegal channels still originate from, although we are aware that those same countries already started with serious steps in normalizing the situation and implementation of the law, which means strong actions that include the police and the labor inspectors.
In our Ministry of Culture, five or six months ago, the addendum of the copyright law and against the piracy was prepared. And then… silence. Experts were working on this law, and published books and articles on the topic, undoubtedly worthy of attention, but when they were needed the most, at a moment when they could be used to make a point, “someone ” slammed the door in their face. Do we have to reiterate that this is also one of the delayed tasks that the new minister of culture has to work on? Certainly not, especially if we keep on mind that he is present on the political scene from the beginning of pluralism, from the time when ”his folks” were in power. Thus, not very long ago. That is why his responsibility is doubled. It is clear, isn’t it?
Translated by: Nora Buklevska
1. MRTV= Macedonian National Radio and Television