On August 4, the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) signed an agreement with Airtel Malawi for the use of music (repertoire) as ringtones and downloads.
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) reports that the signing of the agreement also marked the first distribution of royalties in the sum of Malawi Kwacha (MK), 94,000,000 (approximately US $134,000). The royalties represented arrears owed to Malawian musicians for online licensing of their music between 2014 and 2015.
It would be recalled that Airtel and COSOMA had entered into a licensing agreement as far back as 2015 in Malawi.
With regard to payment of royalties, the top earner from the arrears paid was Skeffa Chimoto. Mr. Chimoto receive MK 3,665,397 (approximately US $5120). He reportedly performed a thank you song.
Reacting to the payments, ARIPO put out a statement encouraging all telecom companies, broadcasters, hotels, restaurants, and learning institutions in the ARIPO Member States to pay artists royalties for the use of their works. This according to them will result in a society that respects copyright and encourages artists to continue with their creativity.
The Copyright Society of Malawi promotes and protects the interests of authors, performers, translators, producers of sound recordings, broadcasters, and publishers. COSOMA collect and distributes any royalties or other remuneration accruing to the interests of the above persons.