Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) said on Friday it will not bow down to pressure to rescind its decision on the termination of the copyright agreement with Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma), saying the ground needs to be levelled.
MBC Director General George Kasakula said they were of the view that the contract is being executed in a way that is detrimental to the State broadcaster and that there was a need to find a fair way of paying royalties.
“The copyright agreement needs to be revisited. Things have to be done in a proper and transparent way and Cosoma needs to be accountable in its dealings. There are lots of gray areas in the way they are operating and Cosoma needs to be checked,” Kasakula said.
He said the move is for the greater good of the creative sector.
“Let me say, again, that we are a huge contributor of broadcast royalties and we are the only station that has an agreement and, so, it is unfair on our side to be paying more than anybody else. We want a fair and legal way of paying royalties,” Kasakula said.
On Friday, Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) called upon MBC to reconsider its decision of terminating its copyright agreement with Cosoma.
In its letter dated January 19 2023, signed by its president Vita Chirwa and general secretary Tonney Chitimatima, Mum has expressed concern with MBC’s decision and has since called for an amicable solution on the contract issue between MBC and Cosoma.
The State broadcaster has terminated its copyright pact with Cosoma after the two parties failed to come to terms during negotiations.
Cosoma said, on Tuesday, that the development meant that MBC, which contributes a huge share of money in broadcast royalties, has resolved to stop using music in its broadcasts in all its platforms effective February 19 2023.
But Kasakula maintained that nothing will change on their side.
“We will not rescind our decision. Let Cosoma revisit its copyright agreement and be transparent. This does not mean we do not want to pay and this is why we are saying we will continue to play music on our platforms,” he said.
Cosoma Licencing Manager Mutty Munkhondia said they had engaged MBC more than five times until they decided to terminate the agreement.