Malawi Digital Archive project to support acceleration of e-commerce in copyright sector—COSOMA

Malawi Digital Archive project — initiated by Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) and will encourage artists to participate in storing their works for the next generation as well as improve the quality of their products — is set to allow artists’ creative works to be well protected from piracy and to create multiple channels for monetization of various works.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), COSOMA’s project officer, Lightwell Kachimanga said the Digital Archive would ease interface which was there between artists and buyers and will support the acceleration of e-commerce in the copyright sector.

Minister Usi at the launch of the project

It will also help to commercialize creative goods through digitization of copyright works in sectors such as music, film, photography and literature.

“The project will provide a committed mechanism for COSOMA to support the creative industry in line with its mandate of promoting and protecting creative works from adversities such as theft, damage, loss of quality and challenges to access them,” Kachimanga said.

COSOMA secured funding from Sound Connects Fund (SCF) to establish the Malawi Digital Archive and at its launch last week at Golden Peacock in Lilongwe, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Wildlife Michael Usi applauded COSOMA and described the initiative as vital in uplifting the creative sector in the country.

He emphasised that Malawi has immense talent whose works needed to be well documented to allow its artists to be competing with their counterparts from outside the country.

COSOMA Executive Director, Dora Makwinja is quoted in the media as saying the digitalisation of all registered works will protect all works from all unforeseen circumstances which may include natural disasters and other accidents.

She emphasized that the Malawi Digital Archive is “a milestone in the promotion and protection of artistic work while maximizing the royalty distribution”.

Public relations officer for Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Wildlife, Symon Mbvundula attested to this, saying the Malawi Digital Archive would involve economic activities which in the long run contribute to the country’s economic growth.

“Creative works are an important contributor to any country’s economy and it has greater potential for job creation through various aspects of the value chain from production to distribution,” Mbvundula said.

He added that digitization has been earmarked as a key enabler in the realization of the MW2063 agenda, which is the country’s over-arching development blueprint and the Ministry was tirelessly working on creating an enabling environment for communities of practice in creative industry.

One of the artists, Phyzix said the project was very important in the music industry since it would be keeping all his and other artists’ works that would allow his audience to access his works.

He added that due to e-commerce, creative works would be highly sold, saying: “This project will be keeping my membership details and everything that I have been creating in music.

“It will in return be a source of income due to accessibility of buyers,” he said, while assuring fellow artists “to take part in the project because it will allow other countries to purchase our works electronically”.

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