If you scroll through Yomilk Zimbabwe’s FB page there’s a video promoting their products through a recipe for ‘Cream Cheese Blueberry Cake.’ The problem with this video is that it isn’t theirs. The video they posted was actually ripped from an American YouTube channel, Yummy PH. Yomilk simply covered up Yummy PH’s logo with their own and then encouraged followers to try the cake and purchase their cream cheese, which is available at most retail outlets.
This just got me thinking about how local brands operate when it comes to property rights on the internet. Property rights are theoretical constructs in economics for determining how a resource or economic good is used and owned.
It seems established brands in Zimbabwe do not seem to understand the concepts of ownership and the impact they make when using intellectual products without acknowledging rightful owners. The use of content without permission from content creators is one of the major bottlenecks that creators face.
Businesses and people, in general, need to understand that users are making a living off the content they create. It seems unfair that after someone invests time, effort and money into producing content, an established brand sees fit to take that product and claim ownership by slapping their own logo onto that product.
Established businesses need to understand that smaller brands are looking up to them and will imitate them. So from an ethical standpoint, they are letting down the companies that are in their infancy. The more established players usually dictate culture in a given industry and if the culture of stealing content from creators is normalized then a cycle is created and disrupting this cycle gets harder as more companies follow these practices.
The fact that established businesses are leading the charge of disregarding copyright laws is more disappointing because they have the resources to actually hire content creators locally and create employment. It’s a disservice to the people they serve and themselves when they take this route.
I have given the example of an American video but content is being stolen from Zimbabweans too and by even bigger brands than Yomilk. This could come from the careless mistake of thinking there is no ownership on the internet. That’s why you see a lot of people just downloading stock images without regard to whether the omages are free for them to download or not.
This problem will persist but established brands should at least know better. If not for the good of the ecosystem then they should just respect iP to avoid unnecessary lawsuits.
Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge
If anything goes wrong, click here to enter your query.