By Sam Banda Jnr:
Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma), whose main function is to promote and protect creativity, has revisited the payment system of royalties to artists by partnering players such as Airtel, TNM and Arts Sacco.
The copyright body has been paying artists through cheques but Cosoma indicated that this method has not been effective in many ways.
Cosoma Senior Licensing Officer, Rosario Kamanga, said Wednesday the cheque payment has been time consuming.
“It is difficult for the money to reach all beneficiaries across the country as banks are not evenly spread nationally. Actually for small amounts this method is very costly since there may be transport costs involved,” Kamanga said.
He said, in order to improve the situation, Cosoma has teamed up with TNM and Airtel and the Arts Sacco to process royalties which would ensure that the money reaches the intended beneficiaries wherever they are.
“The good thing is that if they have not accessed their money, the money will be in their account and not Cosoma account as is presently the case,” Kamanga said.
Chairperson of Cosoma taskforce which has been meeting media houses to make sure that they pay royalties to the copyright body, Anthony Dumbah, said recently they were aware of the new system.
“This is good because cheques were piling at Cosoma offices because some artists were not collecting them in time. So sending the money to the accounts would help in clearing the backlog of cheques. Again this is a smooth system because the money will be going direct to the accounts using Airtel Money, Mpamba or bank accounts,” Dumbah said.
Dumbah, who with fellow taskforce members recently met with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) management to map the way forward on payment of royalties, also revealed that the copyright body was ready with the royalties.
“Cosoma has told us that they were working on the processes and they would be ready very soon. The royalties which will be distributed are from MBC (2014/2015), public performance 2015/2016 and private radios for 2014- 2016 and ringtones for 2015,” Dumbah told fellow artists on one of the social media platforms.
Some artists last week cried foul over the distribution of royalties by Cosoma, saying they do not know how calculations are done and that others are yet to receive royalties despite their works airing in some of the radio stations.
But Kamanga said there are different royalties that Cosoma distributes including public performance, broadcasting and mechanical and that these are distributed at different times.
“At the moment broadcasting royalties for MBC are ready but I cannot tell you for which years now because I have to check the information. However, participation in the distribution, is based on use,” the senior licensing officer said.
The past years has seen artists particularly musicians receiving most of the cheques for royalties during the copyright body’s annual general meeting.
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