Creators to benefit as Malawi implements private copying levies


As from April 15th, 2019, Malawi joined the increasing number of African countries that have started implementing the private copying levy. This major success was achieved after several meetings between local society COSOMA and the ICT Association of Malawi, who was opposing the introduction of the levy through a massive campaign on local media.


Joint efforts of the local society COSOMA and CISAC succeeded in countering the arguments of tech companies.


CISAC provided a statement in support of private copying, underlining its benefits for the creative community. The paper emphasized that in several African countries 75% of the royalties collected under the remuneration for private copying are distributed to creators, allowing them to afford a decent living to work and create new artworks. The remaining 25% usually fuels cultural funds which aim at financing training and capacity building, the funding of art schools or festivals, the safeguarding of national heritage assets and traditional cultural expressions.


The statement also referred to the European Union, where private copy remuneration has repeatedly been recognized as legitimate both in principle and in practice by a large number of judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Finally, the CISAC statement pointed out that private copying remuneration entails no significant extra costs for the technology and ICT industry, that markets copy-enabling equipment or media and makes high profits from these sales. 

Malawi joins Algeria, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Ghana, Tunisia, Capo Verde and Morocco in the list of countries that collect private copying in Africa. This important achievement was possible also thanks to the engagement of the Malawian government, which approved the necessary regulations to implement the remuneration last year.