Burma: Web store 'combats music pirates'

Burmese music fans at the MTV Exit event in Rangoon in 2012 Rangoon welcomed international stars at an MTV event last year

It spent five decades closed to the world under a military junta but it seems even Burma hasn't been impervious to music piracy.

The country, also known as Myanmar, is getting its first online music store, which aims to stamp out the problem of illegal downloads, according to the Eleven Myanmar news site. "The traditional distribution system has been plagued by piracy," the man behind the website, Ko Ko Lwin, is quoted as saying. His Myanmar Music Store apparently trialled operations for a week ahead of an official launch, with home-grown star Lay Phyu's record, Diary, selling 4,000 copies.

Albums will reportedly cost up to 1,800 kyats ($1.86, £1.15) and can be bought via mobile phones, which these days are readily available in the capital Rangoon (Yangon). This is the latest sign of Burmese society opening up, with global brands like Nissan, Suzuki, Sony and Coca-Cola leading the race to capitalise on the emerging market. And the new venture won't find music fans in short supply. More than 50,000 people attended an anti-slavery concert hosted by global music channel MTV in Rangoon last December. The military junta which ruled from 1962 to 2011 had been widely accused of using forced and child labour.

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