Innocent Bashungwa, the Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, has given the Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) a week from (August 7) to meet with stakeholders and seek feedback on the revised 2003 Public Broadcasting Licensing and Exhibition Regulations. Minister Bashungwa issued the order during a meeting with the institution’s management in Dar es Salaam, seeking comments from stakeholders on the amendment of the regulations, which has altered the levy in the business of the music works sector in various areas.
According to the minister, the goal is to issue royalties by December, as per the president’s directive. He also urged COSOTA to ensure that all stakeholders’ perspectives are taken into consideration and asked COSOTA to consider the economic circumstances and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic while making revisions to the areas targeted to avoid conflicts to the regulations when implemented.
In his submission of revisions to the regulation, COSOTA Legal Officer Lupakisyo Mwambinga stated that several areas had been altered because the regulation had been out “We have concentrated on major cost savings as well as lowering costs as per prior stakeholder requests in the review of these Regulations, and this is based on the current economic circumstances and establishing a favourable environment that would be affordable to all stakeholders,” Mwambinga said.
Emmanuel Ishengoma, Director of the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports’ Arts Development Department, said the proposed amendments would help to expand the scope of royalties collection in areas where royalties were previously evaded or not charged for the use of music works, such as the ‘gym.’
Bashungwa ordered COSOTA to crack down on art thieves in the country, particularly cable TV distributors in various regions who arbitrarily join and distribute to customers who do not generate revenue for the company or the government, last month.