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Users of Copyright Works

Tlotlo R. Kgakatsi 
Intellectual Property Matters

Everyone uses music or encounters the use of music in one way or another everyday throughout their lives. Think about this; driving home after work, your car stereo is on, there is a portion of news and talk here and there, then a bit of commercials in-between, but you don’t want to sit and listen to people talking throughout; radio presenters know, that is why they play music most of the day.

So let’s face it, it is all about music, which song or songs are new, which one is currently topping the charts and who collaborated with whom to create the songs? When you tune to a radio station music is what you want to hear, 90% of the time.

Similarly, consider the role of a Disk Jockey, his/her job as a DJ is to entertain his crowd with music, other people’s music. He/she mixes and samples other people’s songs, without these works he cannot have a job as a DJ, albeit some DJ's also create their own music.

On the other hand, sitting for a hearty meal in that restaurant you like, there is this calm, soothing sound around you; it’s the music playing in the background creating that ambience. Maybe walking around a mall there is music pumping through at the retail store, music you cannot ignore. Suddenly you find yourself inside that shop, you end up impulsively making a purchase but what attracted you in the first place was that pumping, energizing creative sound.

Picture your treadmill session at the gym, with that loud rave, energizing music playing in the background. The 20 minutes you had set for yourself goes by so quickly that you end up going an extra mile without feeling the heaviness of your workout, but without music you tend to concentrate on just how much time is left, thinking of a stressful day ahead, meetings at work and the people you owe, you end up doing only 10 minutes instead of the intended 20.

In short, the use and application of music differs according to the purpose and/or type of business it is applied in. For some businesses, music is core to the operations hence they cannot operate without it. Such users include radio stations, music concerts, night clubs and DJs.

These are classified by the Copyright Society of Botswana, (COSBOTS) as essential users. On the other hand, there are businesses whose use of music is not essential to their operations but serves as significant entertainment and plays a role in luring customers when used.

These are termed important users because music is used to lure customers to the business, e.g. bars, gyms, and music awards ceremonies etc. The third and last category is that of incidental users; at which music provides a passive background entertainment and requisite ambience, like retailers/shops, trade fairs, hotels etc.

The law in Botswana provides for the fact that once music is created, it is protected as copyrighted work, for which users must seek permission in order to exploit. Any business or person who avails music for public consumption, outside his/her private space, is lawfully required to contact COSBOTS in order to get a license for this purpose.

Dependent on the use or application of music, i.e. the size of the venue, the number of people attending the event, whether or not patrons pay an entrance fee, type of equipment, seating capacity, whether a live band is plays or recorded music, each user/s will be charged using the set tariffs depending on which category of the user falls.

Despite this seemingly appearing to be complex, as the collective management organization in Botswana, COSBOTS's role Is to decipher and differentiate the various applications and to monitor usage of copyrighted works In Botswana and puts measures in place to ensure that artists are correctly paid for the use of their creative works.

Royalties distributed by COSBOTS to artists, are collected from fees for live performances in front of audiences at festivals, concert venues, clubs, public places, private events and most importantly public performances.

Royalties are also collected for songs played over the radio, television, or in public (such as in an arena, club, juke box, factory, shop, hairdressing salon etc.). This process has facilitated for and enabled the distribution of royalties in the last three distributions amounting to over 8.5 million pula, over a period of nearly two years.

It is important to appreciate that questions are constantly raised regarding royalties for digital online streaming for right holders. This area, slightly more complex In terms of implementation, is also subject to requisite changes in the law that can facilitate the process.

COSBOTS is currently pursuing implementation of licensing for online applications and prior to achieving this, can only advise artists not to place their musical works on-line for free downloads, but to place them in sites that facilitate payment for the downloads.

As a collective management organization, COSBOTS also encourages artists to protect their rights and understand the significance of the role they can play so as to benefit from their works.

For more information contact:
Mr. Tlotlo R. Kgakatsi  
Corporate Communications Manager
Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS)
Tel: (+267) 392 8055

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6th December 2023

Even though Botswana has over the years been performing extremely poorly at the Miss World competition, the country has confirmed that it will be hosting the beauty festival in 2026. Initially, the country was to host Miss World next year, something it failed to confirm before deadline. Director at Miss Botswana, Benjamin Raletsatsi, says Botswana will be ready then to host all participants. Miss Botswana Top 25 finalists left the boot camp yesterday. Quite shocking though, Miss Botswana team is still failing basics as responding to media inquiries on time yet it is dangerously hoping to host an event of high status

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DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.


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Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.


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