THE Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Innocent Bashungwa has issued a week ultimatum to the Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) to meet with stakeholders to seek opinions of the reviewed 2003 Public Broadcasting Licensing and Exhibition Regulations.

Minister Bashungwa issued the order recently in Dar es Salaam during a meeting with the management of the institution seeking feedback of stakeholders of the amendment of the regulations which has amended levy in the business of music works sector in various areas.

“I give you a week from today (August 7) to meet with stakeholders and work on their opinions and use them to amend these regulations. We need to complete this exercise like yesterday,” Bashungwa said.

The minister said the target is to distribute royalties by December as per the president’s order. He further called on COSOTA to ensure that it takes into account all the views of stakeholders and directed COSOTA to take into consideration the economic situation and impact of the effect of Covid-19 pandemic when making adjustments of areas targeted so as to avoid conflicts when the rules come into effect.

On his part COSOTA Legal Officer, Lupakisyo Mwambinga in his submission of amendments of the regulation he clarified that some areas have been amended due to the fact that the regulation has been out “In the review of these Regulations we have focused on significant reductions in costs as well as lowering costs as per the previous stakeholder proposals and this is based on the current economic situation and creating a friendly environment that will be affordable to all stakeholders,” said Mwambinga.

Apart from that the Director of the Arts Development Department in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Emmanuel Ishengoma said the proposed amendments will help to increase the scope of royalties collection in the areas that were previously subject to evade or not charged for the utilization of music works such place as ‘gym’.

Last month, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Innocent Bashungwa instructed COSOTA to crack down on thieves of artists’ works in the country, especially distributors of Cable TV in different regions who arbitrarily join and distribute to customers who do not generate revenue for the Company and the Government.

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