The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) and leading digital satellite television provider MultiChoice Malawi, have established an agreement aimed at fighting piracy. Under the Partners Against Piracy (PAP), a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed which will see the two entities coming up with programs that will mostly result in protecting content creators.

“We will have joint implementation plans touching on mainly two aspects of awareness and enforcement. We want to see that ore people know what piracy is all about and that laws are being followed,” says COSOMA Senior Licensing Manager, Mutty Munkhondia.

He added: “The whole idea eventually is for the public to be able to enjoy more creativity because the content creators are able to benefit, more jobs are being created, government is able to collect tax among others.”   

The MoU is a kick off to a pan-African anti-piracy campaign that begun in Kenya and is spreading to all MultiChoice regions. Essentially it is aimed at fighting piracy in all its forms, according to MultiChoice Malawi’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Zena Makunje.

“In the Malawian context, digital piracy especially which has seen a big upswing after the Covid-19 where people were really hungry for new content having been bored at home, in a lockdown.

“This resulted in people finding illegal ways to broadcast, stream or download content illegally. The campaign seeks to educate people that piracy affects livelihoods of African creative,” she said.   

As a captain of industry, COSOMA will lead in sensitization of the public on existing copyright laws to ensure that people are aware of how piracy diminishes demand for local content.

“We will be running a series of sensitization seminars in the new fiscal year. They will be for key industry leaders as well as associations on how best they can protect their content, how to report content and intellectual property theft among others,” stated Makunje.

She added: “Specifically for the consumers, there are certain aspects of content consumption and protection rights that they might not be aware of especially in the digital space.” Through the MoU, Makunje explained that COSOMA and MultiChoice are also trying to encourage people to support local content creators in Malawi. This is so that we can grow the industry thereby making the demand so large, such that we are able to export and broadcast proudly Malawian content,” she stated.

The Partners Against Piracy campaign consists of activities that will raise awareness by educating the public on the unintended consequences of piracy and the threat it poses to lives, livelihoods, society and personal cyber security.

It is also dealing with cyber/internet piracy which is currently the biggest threat to content owners, broadcasters and operators.