The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) working with World Intellectual Property (WIPO) has developed a tool which will be used to capture music played in different radio stations in the country.
The tool called WIPOCOS LET has been developed in a bid to improve on log sheets data entry which is currently being used by most broadcasting houses to log music they play.
The development comes in the wake of radio stations failing to remit musicians royalties to the society for music played on the radio stations.
A December 2012 COSOMA Activity Report has indicated the tool has already been installed at Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Radio Alinafe, Calvary Family Church (CFC) Radio and Capital FM where it is being used as a pilot phase.
According to COSOMA Acting Executive Director, Dora Makwinja, the distribution of royalties is being affected by a number of factors one of which is inadequate information collected from broadcasters saying compliance by the radio stations with regard to submission of programme returns is not as effective as it is supposed to be.
“For distribution of royalties to take place, the society depends on information collected from broadcasting stations, which are the programme return sheets. The society totally depends on the presenters in the stations to record this information on papers, a job which is tedious in this digital era,” she said.
Musicians have since cried foul over their royalties and some of them have resorted to selling their music on their own.
It is expected that once WIPOCOS LET has achieved its purpose in the pilot phase, it will be installed in all other radio stations.
Meanwhile, the society is discussing with the Malawi Communications Regulator Authority (MACRA) which has a facility that records all broadcasting content on all the radio stations so that the society can use that facility to obtain information on music played on different radio stations.
The society has so far distributed a total of K76, 404, 098 for the 2011/2012 licensing year from broadcasting, public performance and mechanical rights.