The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) signed an agreement with Airtel Malawi for the use of music (repertoire) as ringtones and downloads.
The agreement signing which took place on 4 August 2017 also marked the first distribution of Malawi Kwacha (MK), 94,000,000 (approximately US $134,000) being arrears to musicians for 2014 and 2015 from money collected from online licensing.
The top earner from the arrears paid was Skeffa Chimoto who took home MK 3,665,397 (approximately US $5120). He performed a thank you song.
This is a positive achievement in Malawi for the recognition by Airtel Malawi to remunerate the right holders for the online usage of their creative works as ringtones and downloads.
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) encourages all Telecom Companies in the ARIPO Member States to pay artists royalties for the use of their works. Eventually, this will result to a society that respects copyright and encourages artists to continue with their creativity. This also applies to other users of copyright works like broadcasters, hotels, restaurants, learning institutions, copy shops and the like.