Libera Asserts Massive Economic Loss Because Of Online Piracy

It’s hard to argue that online piracy affects the bottom line in the United States — after all, we have the highest GDP in the world (even though China is on track to be our successor, they’re not there yet). But for smaller countries with a fraction of our GDP, online piracy is even more pervasive — and therefore an even bigger problem. Liberia recently asserted that at least $2 million is lost annually through online piracy. 

The Copyright Society of Liberia (COSOL) wants to crack down on these pirates, and has launched an inspection into the scope of the problem with the goal of enforcing piracy laws (which are rarely enforced anywhere). 

COSOL began the hunt on February 17, 2021. The investigations are targeting businesses first to ensure compliance with intellectual property laws as they relate to artistic works like art, music, and TV or movies. COSOL also wants to properly enforce the Hologram Stamps Law, which mandates a majority of content come from Liberia itself. The cap on foreign-made content is currently set at 40 percent.

Clifford B. Robinson is the LIPO Deputy Director-General for Copyright. He said, “Pirate copies of artistic workers threaten artists and authors’ livelihoods by robbing them of their due percentage of profits and royalties. By working in partnership with the National Collective Societies of Liberia, the government is driving anti-piracy efforts through intelligence gatherings, and educations to combat the illegal trade of piracy from further flourishing, while protecting the creative industries.”

Hon. Robertson said, “The dramatic decline in revenues for content creators is the direct result of piracy — and the government is not taking this threat lightly. Piracy put innovation, creativity, and investment at risk much to the detriment of the content creators.”

And the problem has only gotten worse during the months of suspended production due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

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