Copyright Society Of Malawi (Cosoma) says it is ready to assist legendary musician Giddes Chalamanda to claim royalties for his hit song Liny which is currently enjoying world fame, especially on social media.
Cosoma executive director Dora Makwinja-Salamba said in an interview yesterday they have not officially received any complaint on the matter but will help once approached.
She, however, said the situation is still complicated as the song has been accessed by a lot of people since its trending on social media.
Makwinja-Salamba said that is why they introduced blank media levies to compensate artists who lose out on revenue through content that is shared and reproduced in this digital environment.
“We have a digital licence agreement with Capasso, our counterpart in South Africa which handles that on our behalf. The licence covers for Tik-Tok as well. In the event that there are royalties accrued to Giddes, we shall pay him once received,” she said.
At the moment, though Chalamanda’s Liny continues to create a buzz on social media with several remixes done and millions of views on Tik-Tok and other platforms, it has been established that the artist has not benefitted financially from his creation.
The latest name to reproduce the song is South Africa’s popular music producer Killor Beez Beatz who has done an Amapiano version of the song that is also slowly gaining popularity in the local entertainment joints.
The new track follows other reworked versions that have been delivered by names such as DJ Dr Ice, King Mellow and Pee Jay’s Delightful, which have become a sensation in a number of online sites.
The development has had people wondering if the veteran Chalamanda is earning something from the recreations of his song.
In a separate interview, Richard Gadama,who in 2000 orchestrated the production of Chalamanda’s album Nthawi which contains the original Liny song, said he hoped the ageing artist was going to earn something from his toil.
“I am not sure as to who is in charge of the copyright rights of the album, but it is his creation for sure. If it’s further reproduction is making money then he certainly has a right to have a cut from that,” he said.
But when contacted, Chalamanda’s manager Pemphero Mphande yesterday said so far they haven’t been in a position to monetise on the rejuvenated popularity of the song,.
He said: “The biggest buzz has been on social media platforms such as Tik-Tok where he is not present at the moment. We want to create his own account where we can feed our own content to enable him earn something. The same will be done on YouTube.
“At this stage, we are also exploring the possibility of taking him on a tour of South Africa for some performances.”
Asked if they are making efforts to track the people who are reproducing the song, Mphande said nothing of the sort has been done as he seemed to suggest that the rights of the mashup song are the domain of initiator of the project Namadingo.
But when contacted, the La La La hit-maker said the song is still Chalamanda’s and he is entitled to its full benefits.
“The mashup was a project which was financed by the FDH Bank plc and Giddes was paid for it. Our involvement ended there. If its further reproduction now has the potential to make extra money for him, then it is up to him to follow up on that with his management team,” he said.
While admitting that it is possible to have the people behind the reproductions of the song pay Chalamanda, Namadingo admitted that it is an exhaustive process which will require the intervention of Cosoma.