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Over P800, 000 worth of royalties unclaimed at COSBOTS

Leungo Mokgwathi

Positive response observed from artists

At the beginning of December last year, the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) published a 22-page call for collection of unclaimed royalties.

A questionnaire sent to the organisation by Voice Entertainment has established that at the time, the amount of unclaimed royalties stood at P876,247.04.

While COSBOTS was unable to give an update on the total value of royalties still unclaimed, the organization’s Public Relations office has indicated that they have observed a positive response from artists who have come forward to register and declare their works.

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In her response o a questionnaire sent to COSBOTS, Patricia Edwin stated that, “The situation is dynamic, with ongoing registrations potentially affecting the total.”

Quizzed further on the measures put in place to ensure that artists claim their royalties, Edwin stated that, at every opportunity, COSBOTS calls upon artists to register for membership, register their works with COSBOTS and audit their works to ensure that all works have been notified.

“The above-stated actions are executed through different platforms such as social media, print and broadcast media, workshops, and bulk SMS correspondence with members,” she said, further stating that artists are currently responding to the above-mentioned publication by coming forth to register, notifying their works, and claiming their royalties.

According to Edwin, the distribution of royalties is determined by putting together artists’ work performance reports based on the total number of seconds used during the distribution period.

“The distributable amount is revenue collected for the period and set aside for distribution.”

To determine a value point (which is the amount that a song will earn if performed for a second), the total distributable amount is divided by the total performance time in seconds.

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The amount received by each song is then determined by multiplying each song’s performance time by the value point.

Once the amount earned by each song has been calculated, it is broken down or split between each rights holder’s share for the song.

At the end of this process, each rights holder’s share amount is consolidated into a summary to reflect how much each right holder will receive as royalties for all their songs.

She went on to encouraged artists to commercialize their music by using all the available platforms.

“We also encourage them to register their music with COSBOTS and consistently update their KYC details to avoid delays in receiving their royalties. She further encouraged them to attend distribution workshops to enhance their understanding of the distribution process.”

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