Music copyright breaker sentenced for five years

The Maseru Magistrate Court has on Monday slapped a 37-year-old Tankiso Thamae of Sehlabeng-sa-thuathe with a five year jail term or pay a fine of M12,000.00 for contravening Copyright Order of 1998.
The court however suspended four years or M11,000.00 of the fine on condition that he does not commit similar crime over that time.
Thamae was charged and convicted for contravening the provisions of Section 26 (1) ( c) read with 37 (2) (b) of Copyright Order No.13 of 1989.
According to evidence before court, Thamae intentionally distributed to the public, duplicates of re-produced music of Molebatsi Mahooa who is a co-singer of a group called Makanyane of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party during an incident that happened at the Metro bus stop in Maseru on Friday last week.
The evidence revealed that members of Makanyane received information on Friday last week that Thamae was re-producing and selling their music at the bus stop after which they disguised themselves and went to the place to see what was really happening.
While at the place, the members agreed that one of them should buy the music on their behalf and they paid Thamae M20,00 he demanded for a copy of the music not knowing he was selling it to the rightful owners.
Thamae pleaded guilty to the charge and in mitigation, asked the court for a lenient sentence indicating he is a first offender and did not know he was violating any law by re-producing the music.
The case was before Magistrate Nthabiseng Moopisa and prosecuted by Senior Crown Counsel Advocate Lesaoana Mohale.

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