COSBOTS recently deeply entrenched their presence in the city of Francistown, shedding the stereotype that most pivotal organizations have to be followed to the capital city. Last seen in the ‘’City of all Things Precious’’ in June, this year and also gracing the Northern Trade Fair, under the auspices of Business Botswana, where they had a stall, COSBOTS was back in Francistown to launch a series of road shows, with this one being the first of its kind,with Chief Executive Officer of COSBOTS, Lesego Selotate, expressing a strong intention to continue holding more ‘Pitsos’ of this nature across the country. The advantage of holding roadshow workshops throughout the country, obviously included bringing services and disseminating information about the role of COSBOTS to artists, musicians, dance groups, singers, and amongst others traditional dance groups to the ‘doorstep’ of those in this fraternity, and this sentiment resonated at the workshop. Having this roadshow workshop, saved affected parties the inconvenience and ‘ills’ of centralization, as well having to travel all the way to Head office in the capital city for information or services provided by COSBOTS.
Members of the audience attending the workshop were treated to a highly informative, well organized and ‘eye opening’ workshop, held at the prestigious Cresta Thapama Hotel, in it’s spacious conference room. The workshop was entitled ‘Right Holders Pitso’ , themed “Kitso – Thebe ya Modiragatsi.”
The various presentations the stakeholders at the ‘Pitso’ imparted to the those who attended, was volumes of rich information, that enlightened issues pertaining to Copyright matters, rights of artists and musicians, as well those who have works deserving of being protected, and how other dynamics, like taxes and matters falling under the body of CIPA, impacted on their trade. Authorities from both CIPA and B URS gave riveting presentations that shed illumination on the correlation between CIPA, COSBOTS and matters affiliated to taxes, and how they impact artists, well enunciated by the presentation made by the representative from BURS.
The Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture also had a representative from the ‘Arts and Culture’ department, outlining the huge role the Ministry played in developing the arts, and how they nurtured talent in the region.
The fact that the Copyright Society of Botswana, (COSBOTS), came about through the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, CAP 68:02, was outlined and narrated throughout one of the presentations. The nexus between COSBOTS and CIPA was manifest by the presentation made by Isaac Raputse, Branch Manager of CIPA, Francistown office, who mentioned that CIPA played the role of supervising the activities of COSBOTS, and this was clearly enunciated further by Mr. Raputse who added that “CIPA maintains an effective data base…” , which would ease in ascertaining and facilitating the mandate of COSBOTS and CIPA collectively.
The notion that protection of the rights of musicians, artists, writers, as well as works like films, books, architectural designs, fine arts and inter alia, photography was protected by CIPA, a law promulgated by the Copyright Act, was underlying and constantly emphasized throughout most of the presentations as well as that COSBOTS was the ‘vanguard’ of the interests of artist, musicians and intellectual works.
Chief Executive Officer, Lesego Selotate opined that, “Copyright infringement is a major concern not only in Botswana, but the world over, and the fact that numerous technology today allows for music to be easily downloaded and shared, and this does not help the situation, and this causes authorities to be ‘hamstrung’ to deal decisively with this problem.” Thus having forums like these workshops and other platforms, as well as engaging stakeholders, bridges the challenge of mandating the agenda of COSBOTS.
The Copyright Society of Botswana hosted this ‘Pitso’ with the purpose of creating awareness on matters relating to copyright, membership issues, and how musicians, artists, writers and others could benefit from falling under the ’protective umbrella’ of COSBOTS. Stakeholders from BURS, CIPA, Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development made presentations, outlining their mandates and how they in concert, advanced the agenda of COSBOTS.