In a bid to benefit more artists in the country, the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) will soon start disbursing resale right royalties.
This the royalty received by creators of original graphic and plastic artworks when their works are resold.
COSOMA will be collecting and distributing the royalties to visual artists in the country, according the copyright body’s Head of Distribution, Shadrick Kumtengo.
“Currently, COSOMA is working on regulations for resale right. This is for facilitation of collection of royalties for visual artists after they sell their works (paintings),” he says.
Adds Kumtengo: "The resale right royalty is payable on works of graphic or plastic art such as a picture, a collage, a painting, a drawing, an engraving, a print, a lithograph, a sculpture, a tapestry, a ceramic, an item of glassware or a photograph.
"The author of the work has an obligation to register the works to benefit in the resale right royalty distribution in the applicable form."
The funds collected under the resale right shall be distributed according to set distribution rules of the society.
"The resale royalty payable on the sale of a work is the percentage amounts of consecutive portions of the sale price," he explains.
As of now, COSOMA collects and distributes royalties from different streams including broadcasting - radios and televisions as well as mechanical - physical copies and ringtones, among others.
“We also have the public performance from bars, restaurants, malls and more, reprography which comes from copy-shops and secondary schools and the Blank Media Levy which is a compensatory system for copying of artistic works,” stated Kumtengo.
For artists to be receiving royalties, their works should be used by the users; copyright licensees like radios, televisions, telecom companies, public places among others.
“Once the users have paid their license fees, the artists whose works have been used receive royalties. How much an artist gets depends on the extent of exploitation of their works.
“For example, songs for artist A have been used 20 times and songs for artist B have been used 9 times. Artist A will receive more than artist B. COSOMA uses a specialized software to distribute the monies,” he said.
So far, COSOMA is enhancing its royalties collection and distribution systems in order to facilitate the processes.
He says: “There are a number of streams of royalty collection, broadcasting, ringtones etc. The society engages the licensees for effective and efficient processing of the royalties.”