Site icon The Times Group Malawi

Musicians petition Copyright Society

Musicians, through their body Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum), yesterday petitioned Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).

The musicians are reported to have marched to Cosoma offices in Lilongwe putting on red and bottom black while other members carried tree branches.

One of the members, Anthony Dumba, read out the petition before being presented to Cosoma Executive Director Dora Makwinja.

In the petition which The Daily Times has seen, musicians have indicated that they are engulfed in a myriad problems, ranging from piracy to inefficient and lack of transparency in the way royalties, performance and mechanical rights are paid out to musicians.

The petition also comes barely a month after gospel singer, Princess Chitsulo, cried foul, describing Cosoma as an organisation that was there to reap them off.

This was after she received less money from Airtel ringtones.

In the petition, the musicians have commended Cosoma for some of the works it has done in trying to promote and protect their interest despite having limited resources.

Some of the things musicians have commended on Cosoma

include establishing Arts Sacco as well as continuing to collect and distribute royalties.

However, the musicians have, in the petition, questioned the royalties on how they are calculated.

“Musicians want to know the rate or how a song gets for each play? Is the rate the same or different for a play on radio, television or bar?” queried the musicians.

The musicians, in the petition, also asked Cosoma about what it does with cheques of artists, who the copyright body cannot trace.

In the petition, the musicians also query Cosoma as to why it does not produce quarterly reports on royalties such as mechanical, performance and ringtones for them to follow the issues.

The musicians also indicated in the petition that some songs enjoy airplay but they do not earn enough and, hence, asked the Cosoma to be providing data on this.

Some of the issues the musicians raise in the petition include government subvention, Cosoma and Mum membership, promotion of creativity, licensing of pirates, certificates and artists’ welfare.

Cosoma Executive Director, Dora Makwinja, confirmed receiving the petition yesterday.

“Yes, it’s true we have received the petition. We will work on responding to the issues. Most of them need clarification for the members to understand because most of them think there is lack of transparency and that includes the issue how royalties are distributed,” Makwinja said.

She said they already had a plan to have a meeting with their members to give them more information.

Mum President, Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, said the musicians exercised their right by presenting a petition which contains several important issues.

“Musicians have suffered a lot and, so, they decided to march and present the petition. It was a peaceful march and all they want is for Cosoma to look into their issues with urgency,” Mhango said.

Cosoma has been given 15 days to respond to the petition.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Exit mobile version