[A2k] Malawi and UK RROs sign bilateral agreement

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Mon Jun 16 10:23:46 PDT 2014


Cosoma, UK firm to promote Copyright Law compliance

Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) and UK firm Copyright Licensing
Agency (CLA) on Thursday signed a bilateral agreement in Lilongwe that
will among others promote compliance of the Copyright Law by allowing
educational, research institutions and others to legitimately
reproduce copies of high quality materials published in UK for use in

Malawi becomes the second country after South Africa to sign an
agreement with CLA. Cosoma’s Acting Executive Director Dora Makwinja
speaking before the signing ceremony at British High Commissioner
Michael Nevin’s residence, said the agreement will provide a committed
approach for Cosoma and CLA to work more closely.

Makwinja revealed that CLA is widely known for being influential in
licensing use of copyright works on behalf of copyright holders in the

She said the licences issued by CLA permit copying from most titles
published in the UK plus publications from 30 international
territories including USA, Canada, South Africa and major European

“In this way, CLA aims at obtaining fair rewards for authors, visual
creators and publishers for copying of their works. By supporting them
in this way, CLA maintains the value of their work and helps sustain
creativity,” said Makwinja, adding that likewise, Cosoma’s work
involves licensing users of copyright works with the eventual aim of
providing incentives to the authors which acts as a stimulus to

Makwinja said the agreement will ensure easy access of British
copyright materials for use in schools. She further said that the
agreement will facilitate learning and promote research in various

She said Cosoma is grateful for the support it receives from the
government through the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture and
hailed the British High Commissioner for his presence during the
signing ceremony.

“The importance of copyright protection for authors and creators in
general cannot be over-emphasised. Such protection offers the
indispensable incentives for creation of new valuable works for the
investment into production and distribution of cultural and
information goods,” said Makwinja, A

Adding that both Malawi and British governments have provided such
enabling environments and that continue to do so through enactment of
Copyright Laws which have facilitated the establishment of Cosoma and
CLA. CLA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Fitzgerald described the
agreement as something positive.

“The agreement will see the UK supporting Malawian education by
providing UK works for the benefit of young people in Malawi. We
decided to sign with Cosoma because it is a leader in Africa through
its anti-piracy and copyright education. This is the first agreement
in Africa for more than 10 years since South Africa,” said Fitzgerald.

He said this is a one-year agreement but he was quick to say that CLA
will renew it. Nevin hailed Cosoma and CLA for the agreement and said
he is hoping for more of such agreements and that he wants to see more
private sector development as the engine for growth.

Speaking on behalf of the Malawi government, Director of Finance and
Administration in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Kenson
Mbwana said the agreement was a testimony of the commitment by the
government of Malawi to promote and protect creativity of its national
authors as well as the foreign rights holders as mandated by the Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works,
1971(Paris Act) to which both Malawi and UK are parties.


More information about the A2k mailing list