Christian music scene in the Philippines blighted by piracy

MUSIC piracy has badly hit the Christian music scene in the Philippines. According to Praise Inc, which carries products from international music labels such as Integrity Music, Word Entertainment, EMI CMG and Hillsong Music Australia, pirated CDs of artists, including Don Moen and Australia's Hillsong United, are hawked by street vendors and some pastors burn CDs and give them to church members as gifts.

Johnny Sy, general manager of Praise Inc, said the trade of illegally copying mainstream music CDs and burning MP3s onto CDs began to infiltrate the Philippines in the 1990s as Filipinos travelled to flea markets to buy pirated CDs because they were much cheaper than the original. Said Sy, "Around 2001 or 2002 we noticed Christian pirated CDs in the market. At first it was small and limited to certain titles. Today, piracy is immeasurable." CR

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