Cosoma moves into sanitise film translation


The proliferation of translated foreign movies in the local language in the country which are mostly unprofessional has compelled Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) to engage another gear to sanise it.

Cosoma Executive Director Dora Makwinja said Wednesday they have already started the process to bring sanity as regards translations of foreign movies into local languages.

“Most of these translations are being done unprofessionally and so, we have come in to help them and make sure that the work done is professional,” Makwinja said.


She said translation itself is an exclusive right of the copyright holder and that it is allowed under the law to translate.

“But the translation must be authorised. What is happening now is unauthorised translation and so, our mission is to help film producers or translators to do things professionally,” Makwinja said.

She said they have engaged Linguistics Department at University of Malawi to help in capacitating these players on how they can do their work professionally.


Makwinja could not be drawn to say the exact number of players who they have reached out to so far in the project.

“It is a process but we hope to achieve results and this is all about creating markets in the creative sector which are doing things professionally and producing quality work,” the copyright body boss said.

With most of the players doing the translations without consent from the rights holders, Makwinja said where players cannot reach out to the owners, the law gives them a mandate to issue compulsory licences.

“Translating movies is not allowed without consent but as I indicated, where the owners cannot be reached for consent then as Cosoma, the law gives us a mandate to give licences and we intend to do that after we have done all the processes and have seen that everything is being done professionally,” she said.

Makwinja said the translation of movies is for Malawi market only and not exporting.

In another development Cosoma in partnership with MultiChoice Malawi on Tuesday engaged the media and other players in the fight against piracy through the Partners Against Piracy (Pap) drive.

Makwinja said they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MultiChoice in March this year and that the objective is to make sure that they fight piracy.

MultiChoice Malawi Current Affairs Manager Zena Makunje said they will continue to do such initiatives with the copyright body to make people aware of the evils of piracy.

“There is no-one who is exempted from piracy and for us to get ready; we need to have information hence partnering with Cosoma. We rely on Cosoma for enforcement information and we are hoping that this will help bring about change,” Makunje said.

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