In April 2007, the Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBS), a state-owned radio station, had its office furniture and cars impounded by the country’s police following a dispute over unpaid music royalties.
The measures followed a long-running legal wrangle between the station and the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA). A Malawi court ordered MBS to pay USD 250,000 to COSOMA for years of accumulated music royalties. The confiscation was aimed at ensuring MBS pays up the sum.
COSOMA, a consortium of associations in the field of intellectual property, is a statutory body tasked to enforce copyright laws of Malawi. Boasting a history of over two decades, the society is considered a role model for the rest of Africa in the protection of copyright. Here is one of the six African countries where an Ethiopian delegation went last year to draw lessons. The delegation was tasked with the responsibility of proposing an amendment to the Copyrights and Neighboring Rights Protection Proclamation (No. 410/2004) of Ethiopia.