Botswana’s artists will be smiling all the way to the bank following the launch of a fully registered and recognised organisation that will ensure royalties are collected and distributed for usage of all copyright works.
Speaking at the launch of the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) logo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Banny Molosiwa, stated that the long-term results of setting up COSBOTS would be felt by all artists.
She added that through the assistance of the ministry, COSBOTS was able to set up a fully fledged office in March this year.
“My ministry, in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), was able to conduct training on collective management for COSBOTS officials in May 2011,” Molosiwa said.
“WIPO also provided a software package to be used by COSBOTS in its collection and distribution this training. So far, COSBOTS has managed to develop a strategic plan, and operational rules.”
Through COSBOTS, all artists with intellectual property like songs, poetry art and photography will receive royalties each time their work is used. COSBOTS collect and distribute the royalties to the artists. It is also responsible for facilitating copyrights of all intellectual property registered provided the artist is registered with COSBOTS.
Board Chairperson of COSBOTS, Solomon Monyame, indicated that it was set up to fill the need for effective intellectual property administration. Pointing out that it was not easy to set up the organisation, he nevertheless promised it would be a world class entity within the next few years.
He further stated that not only will artists be compensated but the initiative will also help in nurturing and motivating the local talent.
Chief Executive Officer of COSBOTS, Thato Mokobi, said a nationwide tour through which artists across the country will be familiarised and registered with COSBOTS will follow. Mokobi also stated that the intention is to have the project complete and running by March 2012.
A reciprocal agreement between COSBOTS and its counterpart in Malawi is due to be signed. Monyame explained that in this instance should any art work from a local artist be used in Malawi, COSBOTS will receive royalties from Malawi and pass them on to the artist. As COSBOTS continues to grow, it will further continue to make agreements across the globe.