Of 1,520 COSBOTS member artists only 815 benefited
COSBOTS recently rolled out its 7th distribution operation and only paid P1.3 million worth of royalties to artists after deducting administrative costs from the gross income of P2.6 million for the period from April to September 2016.
The Botswana Gazette in a previous article compelled government to fork out at least P5.6 million out of the P30 million it owes artists, as down payment.
COSBOTS Communications Manager Seeletso Lekgaba says the actual amount of royalties is based on the net amount remaining after deducting administrative costs from gross income. “This amount is referred to as Net Distributable Revenue. This figure is P2 633,194.84, COSBOTS Members are entitled to a share of this amount and the amount due and payable as royalties is P1 299,646.94,” she explained.
Of the 1,520-member artists, Lekgaba said only 815 benefited from the current distribution. “As a rule, distribution is based on usage of works of artist songs, this means that only songs of the 815 members were played or used by the respective users,” she explained.
Pressed further to reveal which artist topped the payout and how much the amount was, she said because of the nature of the membership agreement, their remuneration is confidential and the agreement prohibits COSBOTS from divulging to any third party without the express permission of the artist. “We are therefore unable to provide you with the information that you request,” she stated.
COSBOTS initially canceled their distribution of 19th January 2018 insisting that they needed to host a member’s workshop before payouts. The workshop was recently held at Thapong Visual Arts Centre in Gaborone and Lekgaba said the purpose of the workshop was to give members updates on issues relating to the society, challenges faced as well as achievements.
Delivering his keynote address at the workshop the Board Chairman, Tomeletso Sereetsi declared that the current distribution covers the period 1st April 2016 to 31st September 2016. He outlined some of the challenges of the organization, which include users not complying, lack of transparency in the past and financial challenges among other issues.
Sereetsi, however, said the board was working on improving members’ statements to ensure they have adequate information. He also said a decision was made to, “funds permitting”, purchase a monitoring system to enhance reliability, efficiency and effectiveness of the internal operations of the organization. This will reduce reliance on user playlists. Members were also informed that the board approved the proposed revision to the licensing tariffs among things.