COSBOTS pays out P279K in supplementary distribution

  • The total sum for unmatched works was P394,302.97
  • Collections society prepares for virtual AGM


After identifying the owners of unclaimed royalties, the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) last week made a supplementary payments for Distribution 13, the latest that was made late last year.

The total sum for the supplementary pay that consisted of unmatched works was P394, 302.97. COSBOTS was able to match songs to the value of P279 326.66 out of this amount. The organization says the Net Distributable Revenue (NDR) of P 4. 6 million for Distribution 13 included the sum for unmatched works and the total distributable amount did not change.

“In the distribution process, there are a number of works usages which have been captured through monitoring but we may have no current data,” the spokesperson of the COSBOTS, Seeletso Lekgaba, explained in an interview. “This could either relate to a rights holder or the work. Every artist that creates musical works is required to register the works with COSBOTS through a process called notification for us to have this data.”

The notification requires the creator to include the correct title, names of all composers and authors involved in creation of the works, the music genre, duration of the song, names or arrangers and publishers’ details, among others. Where COSBOTS does not have such information, it resorts to matching the works with usage information obtained from monitoring the airplay of the songs for purposes of conducting a distribution process and the titles fall into the category of unidentified or unclaimed works.

COSBOTS says it then uses its best endeavours relying on established policies and practices to get artists to notify their works and register their songs so that they can claim their entitlement after the works have been successfully matched. “In short unclaimed royalties refers to money that is earned but never paid out to an artist,” says Lekgaba. “Unclaimed works occurs when members’ works have been declared but the royalties are not remitted due to insufficient details.”

The beneficiaries of the unmatched works that the royalty collections society made payments to are local creatives. Lekgaba says COSBOTS has seen a sharp increase in the registration of works in the past two months, enabling the organization to undertake a supplementary distribution of royalties.

COSBOTS is currently preparing for its next Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 27 March 2021 which will be virtual.