Licencees owe the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) over K10 million accumulated between 2012 and 2013, The Nation has established.
A report issued during the recent Cosoma AGM indicates that some institutions that are licensed by the copyright body have defaulted on payment between July 2012 and June 2013.
The report indicates that the licencees include radio stations, public performance, reprography and mechanical rights.
Despite that the report lacks credibility in some areas, especially on how much was invoiced and collected, it is clear that over K10 million remains in the hands of licencees.
Of the four categories, the report shows total invoiced and collected on only public performance and reprography.
It does not show how much was collected from radio stations which were invoiced K27 422 440 (about $68 556) for their use of music or how much was invoiced for mechanical rights users from where K11 500 720 (about $28 751) was collected.
The association invoiced K22 030 800 (about $55 077) and K11 109 235 (about $27 773) to public performance and reprography users and collected K16 121 800 and K7 500 000 respectively.
In total, Cosoma invoiced K72 063 195 and collected K62 544 960, which leaves a balance of K10 518 235.
In an interview, Cosoma senior licensing officer Rosario Kamanga admitted that the statutory body, which holds and administers copyright on behalf of artists, is owed huge sums of money by licensees.
“It is true that licencees owe us huge sums of money. But this cannot be avoided because the licence periods are different. Others have paid for 2012 period while others for 2013 and in different months. There are cases when some licencees stay for years without paying us, for example, MBC, but they do eventually pay at once,” he explained.
According to the report, Cosoma paid royalties amounting to K35 984 685 (about $90 000) and Kamanga says of the total collected, 30 percent is retained by Cosoma for administration while 16 percent is government tax.