Industry snapshot:

The Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) began through enactment of the revised Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act CAP 68:02 in June 2006. COSBOTS was therefore incorporated as a company, no: 2008/3322 in June 2008, as a Collective Management Organisation to administer copyright, as well as to collect and distribute royalties to owners of copyright (rights holders).

Background and development:

COSBOTS is established as a non-profit making company, limited by guarantee, supervised by the Copyright Office under the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA). The start up capital for the set-up of COSBOTS was availed in July 2010, by the Government of Botswana through the then Ministry of Trade and Industry. The founding Board, representatives from different creative industry sectors were mandated to get COSBOTS fully operational.
COSBOTS has so far significantly developed since beginning its operations, from recruitment of the CEO and employees, to undertaking several training programs provided by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, (ARIPO), and Norwegian Copyright Development Agency, (NORCODE). This resulted in developing Rules and Regulations and other numerous internal policies that provided an appropriate and adequate framework for starting up operations.

Key processes:

Licensing: is a mechanism used by right-holders to authorize others to use their intellectual property under agreed terms and conditions. In this case COSBOTS by statute represents rights owners hence has authority to license users of its repertoire (copyright works administered by COSBOTS). Users such as Broadcasters, business entities etc. pay royalties for exploitation of works.

Documentation & Distribution: The department is responsible for developing and managing membership documentation, authentication and distribution processes in line with Membership and Distribution Rules and other relevant policies to reach the goals of the organization.

Reprography: The department is responsible for licensing and collecting royalties for other categories of works including; Poetry, Visual Arts, Literary works, photography etc to distribute to rightful owners.

Finance & Administration: The department provides and facilitates operating departments with shared services that include budgeting, finance, procurement, contract administration, and information technology hardware as well as software support.

Corporate Communications: Involves managing and implementing set marketing and communications activities in all internal and external communications aimed at creating favorable point-of-view among stakeholders.