Sierra Leone Copyright Law Prompts Dancing in the Streets

If Congress decides to go ahead and pass the PROTECT IP Act, will New York's Times Square erupt in celebration? Will cabbies jump to the roofs in Obama t-shirts and shout, "Hallellujah"? Will confetti rain down from the city's tall skyscrapers?

Well, just maybe. At least that's we can conclude by reading what happened this week in Sierra Leone, where passage of an anti-piracy law reportedly triggered absolute jubilee in the West African country's streets.

A Sierra Leona local news service describes the scene this way after the nation's parliament passed a new Copyright Act:

"The streets of Freetown were full of pomp, pageantry and jubilations yesterday following the approval by parliament of the anti piracy law, Copyright Act.

Hundreds of musicians, film actors and actresses, producers, directors, cassette and compact sellers, among various other stakeholders in the film and music industry, took to the streets of Freetown to celebrate the enactment of the copyright law, which they have been seeking for the past several years."

The supposedly joyous recipients of the nation's new anti-piracy law bestowed heartfelt praise on Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, and chanted songs in prase of their political leader. We're sure they bought the appropriate public performance license to do such a thing.

The incredible story continues:

"Several cassette and compact disc sellers considered yesterday a holiday, as they prefer to join the celebrations rather than doing business as usual.

Claded in white T-Shirts with various anti-piracy inscriptions, throngs of celebrants used loud musical sets placed on top of vehicles, plus traditional musical instruments including the popular ‘Bubu’ instruments, to party all day long along major streets in Freetown."

Wow, quite a celebration! And no reason, in our opinion, to suspect any government influence in the reporting whatsoever. We look forward to reading the New York Post report about how DVD bootleggers on Canal Street honor passage of the Protect IP Act as a holiday and blast loud Lady Gaga music in blissful merriment. 

E-mail: eriqgardner@yahoo.com

Twitter: @eriqgardner

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