By Sapulain Lee Chitonde (Citizen Journalist )
The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has hailed the positive results the Society is yielding following the attachment of Malawi Police Officers in its 3 regional offices .
This came to time light in Salima at Silver Sands Beach where the two partner Organisations are conducting a review meeting on their working partnership since they joined forces in January this year.
Speaking to participants, the Licensing Manager for COSOMA, Mutty Munkhondia, has disclosed that artists were complaining big time that they were being robbed off their economic and moral rights contravening Sec. 29 and Sec.30 of the Copyright Act 2016. This outcry left COSOMA with no option but signing a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] with the Malawi Police Service on the need to attach 6 officers to COSOMA [2 at every region in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre] to help with enforcement of the Copyright Act of 2016.
“Artists can now afford to smile. With the coming in of these officers, we are on the right track as we have greatly improved our revenue collection. Many copyright users are now voluntarily
complying. Recently, we distributed loyalties to Malawian musicians and 23 court cases have been successfully prosecuted at the Court. Likewise, reprographic licence renewal by schools has gone an extra mile,” Munkhondia disclosed .
The COSOMA-Police review meeting has brought together all 6 attached officers and regional COSOMA heads to review the working relationship between two organisations, focusing on successes and challenges registered within the first half of the year while coming up with suggested recommendations on how to further improve the working partnership.
Representing his fellow officers, Inspector Steve Kumalonje, has vowed to leave no stone unturned as far as enforcement of the Copyright law is concerned.
COSOMA is a Statutory body created in 1994 by an Act of Parliament and its mandate comes under Sec.4 of the Copyright Act of 2016. Its major roles are Administering the law (Copyright Office) and Collective Management Organisation where it is mandated to promote and protect interest of owners of Copyright and Related Rights.