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Cosoma engages rightsholders

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Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) on Wednesday held a meeting with rights holders.

The meeting took place at Zest Lodge in Liwonde, Machinga District, where among others, Cosoma shared information on basic notions of copyright and related rights, membership and documentation, blank media levy and royalty distribution.

Coordinator of the meeting Ron Muphuwa, who is also Malawi Union of Academic and Non-Fiction Authors (Muana) President, said the meeting was vital in that it made rights holders aware of what copyright is and how their rights are protected.

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“We were also taken through the mandate and role of Cosoma as a rights administrator. More important was also the clarification on the difference between management of individual copyright and other related rights and collective management of copyright and related rights,” Muphuwa said.

He said the meeting also managed to make clarifications on reprography and blank media levy and how they are distributed to artists.

“There is a need to sensitise members of rightsholder associations to issues of copyright, reprography and blank media levy. There is a need to continuously engage government and government agencies to provide an enabling environment for the growth of the arts,” Muphuwa said.

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He said, as a coordinating committee, they were thankful to Cosoma board for responding to their request to sensitise leaders of rightsholders associations to copyright and related issues.

“We, however, also observed that some issues affecting the arts industry are beyond Cosoma and we will be taking them up with relevant authorities,” Muphuwa said.

Cosoma Executive Director Dora Makwinja said it was high time rightsholders knew their rights both individually and collectively.

“We realise the importance of sensitising rights holders and the general public to matters of copyright and collective management and we are happy to have done that today,” Makwinja said.

One of the participants, Lilongwe-based gospel musician Catherine Kawawa, said she had been enlightened on the general aspect of copyright matters.

“The meeting has been an eye-opener to me and I am now able to know what collective rights management is all about,” Kawawa said

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