The Mkukula Senior Chief Resident Magistrate Court has found guilty and convicted a businessman after being found in possession of machinery with which he was making infringing copies for gainful purpose contrary to section 113 of the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) Act of 2016.
“On Saturday 28th February, COSOMA inspectors got a tip off that Chikumbutso Jamu of Kadzakalowa village T/A Njolomole, Ntcheu, was in possession of equipment used for duplicating copies of Copyright works without authorization for business purposes in his house at Kaliyeka in Lilongwe.
The Inspectors conducted a raid at the suspects house and he was indeed found in possession of 2000 Master CDs and 68 other CDs, 2 Duplicating Machines, 1 Canon Printer, 1 Prixma Printer, 1 Acer Laptop, 1 Sabara Laptop and 10 DVD Writers which he used in carrying out the crime.” COSOMA PPRO Assistant Ettah KamangaÂ narrated
The Court through State Prosecutor Inspector Bod Msukwa pleaded for stiffer punishment stating that this behavior is unwelcome in the society as it economically affects government taxes and the musicians.
â€śTrue owners of these creative works do not benefit from their works as reproduction of the copies disturbs the flow of the market for the musiciansâ€ť, Msukwa said, adding that a stiffer punishment will deter other would -be -offenders.” Kamanga added
In his mitigation, the convict prayed for leniency saying he is a family man looking for his extended family including a daughter of his late sister and that he uses a license of Dolphin (old employer) who he said had a license but Her Worship Onsewa fought it saying the license was not his.
Mr Thomas Chirambo, COSOMA’s Assistant Licensing Officer said this was a big win as normally those who are caught are those that sale pirated copies while it is these big fish, the producers, that should be brought to book.
Chirambo said many artists in the country are crying foul and languishing in poverty due to such people who produce and distribute their work without consent from the owners thereby killing their economic right in section 29 of the Copyright Act. Section 113 subsection 4 requires one to obtain a license from COSOMA before production or reproduction of any works.
Senior Chief Resident Magistrate Cecilia Onsewa has since slated her judgement for 5th March.
The convict (Jamu aged 45) has since been taken back to Lumbadzi police station waiting for the sentence.
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