Cosoma warns against ‘CD burning’

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The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has warned against the reproduction of copyrighted works without proper licenses saying anyone caught will be persecuted.

COSOMA’s Senior Licensing Officer for (COSOMA) Rosario Kamanga issued the warning in Nsanje district when he stormed Nyanthepa Community Radio Station on Monday.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi24, Kamanga said it is illegal for Malawians to carry out reproduction of copyright works without a license.

“For someone to carry out reproduction of copyrighted works it requires them to have a license that can enable them conduct the work legally,” said Kamanga.

COSOMA’s warning comes against the backdrop of a sudden proliferation of reproduced copyrighted works without required licenses across the country.

Kamanga said in order to curb the malpractice, they storm music sharing shops to see if they have required licenses that allow them to conduct their work without infringing the copyright law.

“Those that do it without a license infringe copyright laws and when caught, their equipment is seized and they are persecuted,” he explained.

However, recently, the country has seen a boom in makeshift ‘burning centres’ which sell audio and video content at giveaway prices without having proper licenses to do so.

The practice has greatly affected the music industry in the country forcing many musicians to stop producing any new material in fear of the high levels of piracy that sees Malawians not buying their original copies.

COSOMA was established in 1992 under section 41 of the Malawi Copyright Act of 1989. Its main function is to protect and promote interest of authors, performers, translators, producers of sound recordings, broadcasters and publishers so that other people should not have the right to copy their work without required license.

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