Cosoma pays out royalties

Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) has begun the third and final phase of distributing royalties of the 2018/19 financial year through Arts Sacco.

However, the body could not be drawn to disclose the highest earners, saying the payments are done through the Arts Sacco.

Happy with development: Piksy

Cosoma’s executive director Dora Makwinja said: “We have not yet aggregated such information. Once we receive the money we make the remittances through Arts Sacco and that information is not available as of now.”

She has also deplored the conduct of some private radio stations who are yet to finalise honouring their debts. She said Cosoma would be happy if they followed the example of taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in honouring their obligation.

Makwinja revealed that Cosoma will soon make the next distribution received from the caller tune platform of mobile telephone providers TNM plc and Airtel Malawi as well as from some public performances.

Towards the end of last year Cosoma collected K39.3 million from MBC which the public broadcaster owed the arts rights body for years.

The payment brought to an end a long-running battle between musicians and the institution. At one point musicians threatened to seek a court order to restrain MBC from playing local music.

Cosoma has said 2 441 artists and 8 919 songs will receive their royalties during the final phase. The number is an improvement from the last two phases. During the first phase 1700 artists received royalties while 1800 artists received in the second phase.

Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) acting president Gloria Manong’a said it is a huge relief that musicians can now get their royalties.

She said: “It is a positive development for us. At least every musician in the country is happy with the development.”

Urban music artist Piksy said: “A special tribute to both MBC for paying what they owed us as musicians and to Cosoma they never stopped pushing to have the debt paid. It really shows that they have the welfare of us artists at heart.”

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