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COSBOTS two years behind on royalty payments

COSBOTS two years behind on royalty payments

With little over a month till the year ends, the Copyrights Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) have admitted to defaulting on paying local artists their dues for almost two years.

Voice Entertainment can confirm that the last time local artist received their monies worth from the copyright society was for the period of October 2015 and March 2016.

This is primarily perceived to be down to Government’s failure to pay royalties to the copyrights body.

Responding to Voice Entertainment enquiries, Communications Manager, Seeletso Lekgaba, said, “It is with great concern to note that COSBOTS is now 2 distributions behind.

The last distributions which were declared on 03 December 2016 covered the period October 2015 to March 2016.”

Asked if Government, through the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS), had paid their debt, Lekgaba replied, “As with all our clients, we continually engage with DBS, radio stations and television channels to ensure payments are made correctly and timeously, a task that requires constant vigilance and diligence.

“The success or otherwise of this endeavour will be published in this year’s Annual Report. COSBOTS and DBS are working together to ensure the payments issues are put to rest.”

The society, which has in the past months been marred by controversy, is viewed by many as having failed artists, especially in regards to their main mandate, to collect royalties on behalf of the artists and performers.

Meanwhile, the President of Botswana, Ian Khama in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday noted the introduction of BTV 2, a channel, which is scheduled to be fully operational next year.

Khama revealed the channel will focus on airing local entertainment and sport related news, including, fashion, music and the arts.

Asked if they were consulted on the second channel, COSBOTS said, “It is obviously a welcome development for our artists. We believe with the increased use of the repertoire, artists will gain more. COSBOTS continues to encourage businesses to use copyrightable works as long as a licence is acquired and appropriate fees paid for usage of protected works.”