Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) has distributed a total of over K306 million so far to the creative sector in blank media levy with the latest being the distribution of over K206 million for the period June 2019 to July 2020 to musicians.
Blank media levy is a compensation system whereby gadgets and equipment that have the capacity to store, reproduce and distribute copyright works are subjected to a levy upon manufacturing or importation.
Cosoma’s Distribution Officer Shadrick Kumtengo said Wednesday that the distribution of over K206 million to the musicians follows another distribution of K78 million which was made in May 2020 for the period April to June 2019 from the same loyalty stream..
“These distributions were to be made in June and December this year, however Cosoma had to distribute the levy earlier to cushion the impact Covid-19 pandemic has brought to artists. In this period, artists have been greatly affected financially by the pandemic since they cannot continue carrying out their performances,” Kumtengo said.
He said just like any other royalties, these distributions have been made following the same principles and rules that Cosoma uses to effect distributions.
“Meaning to say the royalties are paid depending on extent of usage of one’s works,” Kumtengo said.
He said 2,618 musician have benefited from the distribution and that Cosoma has, for the first time, issued Certificates of Recognition to musicians who have attained over K1 million in royalties from the blank media levy stream.
The first recipients of the certificates include Soldier Lucius Banda, who has led in the earnings followed by Skeffa Chimoto, Lulu on third, Dan Lu on fourth and Thocco Katimba on fifth.
The other artists, who have attained over K1 million and have received certificates include Kell Kay, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Anthony Makondetsa, Patience Namadingo, Lawi, Evance Meleka, Black Missionaries, Faith Mussa, Piksy, Great Angels Choir, Favoured Martha, Kamuzu Barracks Gospel Singers, Billy Kaunda, Shammah Vocals and the late Joseph Tembo.
About 22 musicians are in the over K1 million bracket. Kumtengo also said that Cosoma distributed over K22 million to audiovisual artists in the film industry sector.
“We are at the moment processing distribution for literary works,” he said.