Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) Monday started disbursing money to creatives from blank media levy and reprography (reproduction of documents and graphic) material.
Musicians started receiving their amounts Monday, through Arts Sacco, with amounts for films and books to be distributed on December 19.
According to a document dated December 9 2022, the copyright body will distribute a total of K596.9 million.
For blank media levy in music, between January and March 2022, Cosoma has distributed K97.8 million for 6,531 works to 1,244 beneficiaries whereas in the period from April to September 2022, there is a rise as the copyright body has disbursed K340.3 million for 8,034 works to 2,302 beneficiaries.
In film, between January and March 2022, Cosoma has distributed K32.9 million for 408 works to 198 beneficiaries whereas in the books category, the copyright body has distributed K65. 2 million for 750 works to 437 beneficiaries from January to March 2022.
Cosoma has also disbursed K60.7 million in reprography for 750 works to 443 beneficiaries from July 2020 to March 2022.
In the music category, in the period January to March, eight recipients have received more than K1 million whereas in the period April to September, 41 have received more than K1 million.
In the film category, there are no recipients who have received more than K1 million whereas in the book category seven have received more than K1 million, with four in reprography.
Cosoma Head of Documentation and Distribution Shadrick Kumtengo said Monday that they were seeing a great improvement.
“For instance, 41 recipients have received over a million Kwacha in music for blank media levy for the period April to September 2022 while previously it was less than this. This is good for the music industry and we hope the situation improves,” Kumtengo said.
He said blank media levy has demonstrated that artists can earn money.
“As a body, we are seeking to improve how we manage blank media levy,” Kumtengo said.
He also said that musicians were receiving the blank media levy in two streams because they have a lot of distribution points compared to other disciplines.
Malawi Revenue Authority and Cosoma resumed collection of a levy on media storage devices in 2020.
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.