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The Copyright Platform

The Copyright Platform


Intellectual Property refers to all creations of the human mind. It is divided in o Copyright and related rights, on the other hand Industrial Property Rights. In order to encourage and enable talented authors to continue creating works of quality, most countries today give them special rights known as copyright to control their works.



Copyright is a branch of intellectual property which grants exclusive rights to the author of an original literary or artistic work. The owner of the literary or artistic wok has the sole right to authorise or prohibit the use of their works.

Copyright protects original works while neighbouring rights (also called related rights) protect the performances, original recordings and broadcasts of works. Neighbouring rights are rights that do not attract copyright protection, but enable literary and artistic works to reach the public. These rights are;

l The rights of perfomers: this right grants perfomers the right to authorise or prohibit others from fixing their perfomances, reproducing fixed perfomances, communicating and making available to the public fixed perfomances

l The rights of producers of phonograms; copyright law grants producers of sound recordings the right to authorise or prohibit third parties from reproducing, importing, adapting and making available to the public works they produced

l The right of broadcasting organisations; broadcasting organisations have a right to authorise or prohibit re-broadcasting, fixation, reproducing of fixations and communication to the public of their broadcasts



Copyright Society of Botswana is a Collective Management Organisation commissioned in 2008 as a private company limited by guarantee. As the only collective management organisation in Botswana, COSBOTS is mandated by the Copyright and Neighbouring rights Act CAP 68:02 to license and collect royalties from users of copyright/protected works to distribute to copyright owners. COSBOTS controls, the right to use or play both local and foreign music by business establishments, the right to use non-music protected works, and the right to publicly display or use protected works including paintings, sculptures, engravings etc. In addition to the above responsibilities, day-to-day operations of Collective Management Organisation entail putting in place rules and regulations which contain such provisions as are necessary to ensure the protection of the interests of its members and representing them in the various categories of works protected under Copyright and Neigbouring

Rights Act.


How is a Copyright obtained

Authors do not have to go to CIPA or COSBOTS to protect their works since Copyright protection is automatic, it subsists in a work upon creation. The author’s work is protected right from the moment he/she creates a literary or artistic work. Registration or recordal of a work is voluntary, the absence of which does not invalidate copyright protection.

Section 3 (1) of the Act provides that “A literary and artistic work shall not be considered as a work protected by copyright under this Act unless it is an original intellectual creation in the literary and artistic domain”


Many instances have over the years demonstrated that individual management of rights is practically impossible. It would mean that the individual creator has to contact and negotiate with all radio, television broadcasters and many other users who use his/her copyright works, while at the same time doing what they do best – creating work. On the other hand, the different users would likewise have to contact each and every rights holder and obtain permission to use their works. Due to this impracticability of managing the above activities individually for both the rights holders and users of works, a CMO has become an essential link between both the users and creators of works. The presence and operation of a CMO therefore enables the creator to focus on what they know best, which is creation of Copyright works, while leaving management of their rights to someone who specialises in management of rights.


COSBOTS and Companies and Intellectual Property Authority

COSBOTS sets licensing tariffs and distribution rules and are approved by CIPA which has a supervisory role over COSBOTS.

The Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) is mandated to protect intellectual property rights through the administration of legislation namely; Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, (CAP.68:02) which provides for the protection of the rights of authors, artists and creators, as well as protection of their literary and artistic creations, which are generally referred to as “works”. 

For more information contact Communications department at:

Tel: (+267) 392 8055



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Physical Address: Unit 1, Plot 93 Gaborone International Commerce Park

Postal Address: P/Bag B075 Gaborone

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