The Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) has expressed desire to change the landscape in the arts industry to allow creative people to entirely profit from their work.
COSBOTS Chief Executive Officer, Thato Mokobi, revealed that they look forward to start paying royalties mid next year.
COSBOTS is anticipating starting registration of membership upon finalisation and approval of the documentation by the Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property (ROCIP).
“We are hoping to start a nationwide registration campaign in October/November 2011 and negotiations and Licensing of users will be done in January 2012,” said Mokobi.
COSBOTS was established as a Collection Management Organisation to administer the collection and distribution of royalties to rights owners.
Mokobi said they have put in place rules and regulations to be approved by the Copyright Office, which contain such provisions as necessary to ensure the protection of the interests of members and the process is at an advanced stage.
He said royalties are calculated in accordance with the rules and pricing modalities established by COSBOTS and approved by ROCIP.
Organizers of occasional events shall provide COSBOTS, in addition to the payment of royalties, with a provisional declaration of the works that will be performed. Mokobi said nightclubs, kombis, retail outlets will be required to pay royalties for the use of copyrightable material.
“Royalties will be paid to COSBOTS before exploitation of the works can take place; each payment is made against the remittance of a receipt,” he said.
Mokobi said the collection and distribution of royalties will encourage the development of creative, artistic and economic endeavours, as well as enhance quality of output.
“Through our mandate of collection and distribution of royalties, we will strive to ensure members derive maximum benefit whenever their works are used commercially and for publicity,” said Mokobi.
In an effort to ensure that COSBOTS is fully operational, Mokobi said they have planned to carry out various activities in order to enable it to become fully operational, that includes an out-reach and awareness creation program to inform, educate and sensitize the public on matters relating to copyright Registration of members. In addition, maintain a register of works published in Botswana amongst other things.
Artists worldwide are millionaires emanating from their creative work; Mokobi said the same cannot be said about local artists who are now in dire straits.
Artistes are entitled to Intellectual Property Rights protection, Economic rights, Moral rights, neighbouring rights.
The properties that are protected include Press, Literature, Musical, theatrical productions and Opera, Advertising Agencies, Motion Pictures, video, Radio and Television Photography, Software, Databases, Visual and Graphic Arts.