19 December 2017

Malawi: Sir Paul Banda Asks Malawi Govt to Protect Musicians

The legendary musician, Sir Paul Banda has asked government to consider introducing laws that would ensure that intellectual property of musicians is protected.

Banda made the appeal in an interview when he was commenting on the current status of Malawian music industry.

He said he appreciates the efforts the young and upcoming artist are putting in the industry regardless of unfavorable conditions they are going through, citing issues of copyright and lack of musical infrastructure in the country.

"I love the fact that young people have worked hard to bring music where it is now without government bringing in schools and education on music," he said.

"What I would want to see is the interest of government in bringing in laws that would protect musicians. Our intellectual property is not protected, people can abuse it the way they want and you cannot make a living out of it as it was in the past," he said.

Banda further said the current situation where Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) allows people to be sharing music any how is frustrating many musicians just like him in coming up with new albums.

"I had an album which was supposed to come out three years ago, but considering the current situation where COSOMA allows people to share music freely, I was deflated from coming up with the new album," he said.

Copyright Administrator at COSOMA, Dora Makwinja said steps have been made in ensuring that the rights of the artists are protected.

"The copyright Act has been reviewed and we have a new law which is providing stiffer punishment for infringements of the act. We also have programs that are aimed at promoting creativity like national establishment of arts council, art marketing production and cooperative and putting up a school of art," she said.

"In addition to that we are trying to license people that are into music business in order to organize them which will eventually facilitate collection of revenue that would eventually contribute to art developments," she added.

The coming in of technology in the country has made life tough for many artists especially musicians who no longer benefit from their art work as most of the times, their songs are shared without regulations.

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