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Cosoma disburses K200 million for blank media levy

FLASHBACK—Atoht Manje (right) receives a certificate from Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi

Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) has distributed over K200 million in blank media levy for films and literary works/books for the period from July to December 2021.

According to information from Cosoma which Arts and Culture had seen, K62,321,060.56 has been distributed to films going to 217 beneficiaries whereas in literary works/books for Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), K121,804,122.74 has been disbursed to 461 beneficiaries.

In the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) class, Cosoma has disbursed K10,118,680.32 to 461 beneficiaries, among others.

Cosoma Head of Documentation and Distribution Shadrick Kumtengo confirmed of the development saying distribution started Monday.

Kumtengo said there was a great improvement in the distribution process according to statistics.

“There are improvements as regards the graph and the number of beneficiaries is increasing and they are getting substantial amounts,” he said, adding that the distribution is even much better in that it is being done twice a year.

In April this year, the copyright body also disbursed K260,988, 372.51 in blank media levy for the period of July – December 2021 for musicians.

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Cosoma resumed collection of a levy on media storage devices in 2020.

The levy was introduced on April 15 2019 but collections were suspended on September 18 2019 after some importers obtained a court order restraining MRA and Cosoma from collecting the levy. The resumption of the collection of the levy followed an amicable settlement of the court case.

The levy on media storage devices, also known as Private Copy Levy, is charged on purchases of recordable media as compensation to the rights holders for loss of income due to copyright infringements.

Some of the data sources and data collection streams they use as regards blank media levy include musical works (authors and performers), audiovisual (music videos and films) and literary works (authors and publishers).

Musicians Union of Malawi President Gloria Manong’a said recently that more artists were benefitting from the programme but appealed to Cosoma to continue holding sensitisation meetings to share information and enlighten artists.

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