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Interdict for non-compliance

Given the copyright industry being relatively new and still growing, particularly in developing countries, it is important to comprehend the difficulty inherent in separating wrong from good in relation to infringement prohibitions given lack of or little knowledge by users. Resistance is now being observed from many users of copyright works.


This is perpetuated by the fact that for many years no legislation was in place to provide sufficient or any level of protection for exclusive rights covering all forms of exploitation of inventions, works and other protected subject matter. The legislation in question would have afforded owners of copyright, the right to be compensated via royalties whenever their works are being commercially used/exploited.


The introduction of legislation has now created even more confusion because not only does the law require users to pay royalties for the use of creative works, but also there are measures in place aimed at ensuring that where copyright works are exploited without authorization such infringement is or can be stopped.


Firstly, consider the treatment of copyright, and applicable interest. The idea of “communication to the public’’ and, more particularly, who does the concept public refer to?


In recent interdicts within the African context, true to prevailing laws warning that no organization broadcasting music or sound recordings or communicating same to the public without a copyright user license shall be let off the hook. This after the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) had filed a 1.14 billion Naira copyright infringement action against Brila Fm stations.


In this landmark case COSON complained that the radio station continued to earn massive advertising revenue and make enormous profit from the unauthorized copying, communication to the public and broadcast of the musical works and sound recordings belonging to COSON members, affiliates, assignors and licensors and consequently the Defendants have continued to expand their capacity by setting up new stations across the country.


Apart from accumulated royalties, COSON was asking the court for general damages and perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents, privies or servants from the unauthorized copying, communication to the public or broadcasting any of the musical works or sound recordings belonging to the members, affiliates, assignors and licensors of COSON except with prior license of COSON.


This is no different to Botswana, users including broadcasters, promoters, clubs, venues must be licensed and ensure applicable royalties are paid. This development brings change to the creative industry for businesses using copyrighted works. And it’s a change that must be accommodated to ensure sustainability and growth of the industry.


Copyright law protection innocently encourages authors to make public their work/s and disseminate it widely, because creators know that they will not lose control over it simply because it is made known to others.

Authors who are aware of risks such as piracy or counterfeiting, which is estimated to have reached a value of over 200 billion USD per year, and corresponds to 2 % of world trade, and is higher than the Gross National Product of over 150 countries, can or will take the route to make their work private, this in turn does not help the creative arts.


As regards the copyright field, it seems that musical, audio-visual field and literary works are among those that are hit the hardest by lack of efficient administration mechanisms.


Recently COSBOTS has resorted to interdicting, and restraining some of the non-compliant users of copyright works from continuing using copyright works belonging to its members and affiliates without applying for and obtaining requisite  licenses or permission from COSBOTS.  


An interdict as one of the extra-ordinary reliefs one can or may seek from Court, has proven to be helpful and effective in the sense that once granted, the user against whom the interdict is sought would be compelled to perform his or her statutory duty of applying for and obtaining a license to use copyright works from COSBOTS prior to use.


Beyond copyright law, the aspect of territoriality remains an important aspect for usage of copyright works. Every country has its own national law applicable within its territory; at the same time creative works and other subject matter are disseminated independently/digitally irrespective of national borders.


This not so complicated process is guarded by international intellectual property treaties like the Berne Convention, which prescribes: “the enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality; such enjoyment shall be independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin. Consequently, apart from provisions of this Convention, the extent of protection as well as the means of redress afforded to the author to protect his rights, shall be governed exclusively by the laws of the country where the protection is claimed”.

This consequently means the law of the country where protection is claimed shall govern that protection. Apply to COSBOTS for your license to use copyrighted works and avoid the inconvenience of the wrath of the applicable law, read the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act at your leisure.
For more information contact:
 
Mr. Tlotlo R. Kgakatsi  
Corporate Communications Manager
Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS)
Tel: (+267) 392 8055
E-mail: tlotlok@cosbots.com

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WeekendLife

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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