Malawians asked to license disco equipment- COSOMA

The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has appealed to mobile disco equipment owners to have their equipment licensed or risk a penalty for failure to comply with this legal requirement.

This was disclosed by COSOMA Senior Licensing Officer, Rosario Kamanga, on Wednesday.

The remarks come amid reports that some disco equipment owners are not aware that they have to license their equipment.

An area 18 resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said COSOMA should do enough awareness campaigns so that those who own such equipment should have them licensed.

DJ Equipment: Need licence in Malawi

“I own disco equipment and have provided so many services to weddings, parties, bridal showers among others but I’m not aware of this requirement. Now that I know, I’ll make it a point that I have my equipment licensed,” he said.

Enelia Kamanga, another disco equipment owner said she does not know that disco equipment should be licensed saying she was hearing it for the first time.

She said now that she is aware, she will make proper arrangements that she has her equipment licensed.

However Kamanga has trashed this saying COSOMA has done enough awareness on this and as such his organization expects everybody who owns such equipment to license it.

He said the organization has engaged an extra gear to ensure that the requirement is adhered to.

Kamanga said, as a monitoring mechanism, COSOMA inspectors go around different functions which use such equipment to see that people are complying.

Failure to comply with this legal requirement attracts a penalty of between K110, 000 – K750, 000.

Mobile discos, bars, private clubs, wedding or bridal ceremonies, dinner dances, office functions, party including advertising vehicles and lodges are some of situations where a public performance license must be obtained.

Fees collected from public performance contribute to about 20 – 30 per cent of artists’ royalties.

According to Kamanga, reluctance to do so obstructs the development of artists in as far as distribution of royalties is concerned.

So far, 163 disco outfits have been licensed.

COSOMA is a statutory body which was established in 1992 to implement the Copyright Act of 1989. It plays the dual role of a copyright watchdog for its seven right holder association members as well as advisor to the government to ensure that Malawi fulfils her international obligations on copyrights and related rights.

This legal requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, whether the institution or organization is commercial or non profit.

Mobile disco outfits are supposed to pay an annual fee of K10, 000 in order to obtain a copyright license.

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