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Intellectual Property Matters

Tlotlo R. Kgakatsi
COSBOTS's REALITY


Think about it, global music royalty collections reached 850 billion Pula in 2013, and are being seen to be constantly growing. This may not compare with the diamond industry but, maybe wildlife and tourism. The Global Collections Report by The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) shows total royalty collections is constantly growing by 4.6% with the 2013 latest report.

Much is still to be achieved with regard to developments in copyright and intellectual property especially in developing nations, shadowing down on Africa, where many of the nation’s rather seek to concentrate on serious, immediate issues of poverty, hunger and diseases. Botswana is however fortunate to have rigorously jumped to economic diversification drives, seeing and bringing to the fold the enormous economic capabilities of the creative industry.


Intellectual property management, inclusive of copyright, is complex for many reasons. The introduction of a society such as COSBOTS, has significantly brought about changes in processes, and questioned the basic thinking, which had been accepted as a comfort zone.

Copyright matters need some degree of competence, given its specialized framework; it therefore requires knowledgeable people that can advise and guide the legal, practical, political and managerial aspects of copyright and related rights. To some extent, the whole field of intellectual property management. The main burden remains the fact that all this requires a paradigm shift for society as a whole, never an easy feat.


The Copyright Society of Botswana is undoubtedly here to stay and it continues to play an important role in today’s political and economic environment, mostly to begin with through creating awareness and educating Batswana about this phenomenon.

It is worth noting that there is undoubtedly some turbulence around copyright issues and its role in society today, given the rapidly changing technological and economic status of the creative industry. Beyond these developments, sustainability of the creative industry is key to the activities of COSBOTS. Without economic empowerment to the creative industry, there simply can never be continuity in the music, arts and films we enjoy daily.


COSBOTS makes it fair, that persons who devote their skill and efforts to the production of intellectual creations are able to exercise some control of their use, which goes a long way as these rights are stimulus to society's growth and the industry's progress. If copyright protection exists in a work, the author is encouraged not only to create the work but also to make it public and disseminate it widely, because he knows that he will not lose control over it simply because it is made known to others.

Such a wide dissemination of works is generally of great benefit for the society as a whole. The pricevfdfvb cvnhg for use of the work/s, reflects in the costs resulting from the exclusive rights, that have to be paid by the users as royalties. Collective management has proved to work with relative flexibility as the costs maybe high or low, but have to be paid, this has served, and will continue to serve all round creativity and inventiveness within society.

The year of the Lord was in 2011, when artists or owners of copyright works across the country started registering as members of COSBOTS, consequently assigning or transferring their rights to COSBOTS through written contract.

This agreement allows the society to set rates for royalties on behalf of members and further monitor usage of members protected works for national broadcast. This, on the surface of it appears to be fairly simple, but remember empowerment comes at a cost. Authors or Lyrists are the power brand of the melodies of movies and radio jingles that keeps the industry buzzing. Composers turn words into musical notes and give movies life of originality.

The players in this process will be paid royalties for public performance rights. Depending on the application, in certain instances, the authors and composers are paid royalties for "mechanical rights", derived from conversion of the original format to one that is compatible with the system to publicize the music. This is the future of the music business that COSBOTS strives to develop and empower.

Mr. Tlotlo R. Kgakatsi  is Corporate Communications Manager at Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS)  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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