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Authentication of works

Security device / hologram

Section 35A(1) Act provides that: “Every sound and audiovisual recording made available to the public by sale, rental lending or distribution in any manner to the public for commercial purposes in Botswana shall have a security device affixed on it….’  Botswana chose to use the hologram as its security device. The main purpose of the hologram is to reduce the reproduction and distribution of pirated sound and audiovisual works. It is used to authenticate sound and audio visual recordings such as CD’s and DVDs, in that any such works that are availed to the public for commercial purposes without the hologram are deemed to be infringing copies [Sectioin35A(4)].

Link to the application form

How to procure a hologram?

The security device/hologram is distributed by the Copyright Office at CIPA at cost recovery fee of P0.30 per piece. This means that one must purchase a hologram stamp for each CD or DVD they intend to avail in the market for commercial purposes. The sale of the hologram is made upon proof that the person has been authorized by the owner of the copyright protected work to sell, rent, lend or otherwise distribute the work. For one to be able to purchase the hologram, they must be accredited as either a producer or an importer of sound and audiovisual works.

Requirements for accreditation as a producer

Section 35 D of the Act provides that “Every person engaged in the reproduction of sound and audio visual recordings shall, for the purpose of affixing the security device, apply, in such a form as may be prescribed, to the Copyright Office for accreditation as a producer.” The following requirements need to be met for one to be accredited as a producer:


  1. Proof of copyright ownership and/or authorisation to purchase holograms.

 a)     In the case of artists having a separate producer or promoter or an artist manager: One must produce a contractual agreement or letter of consent from everyone who contributed towards the creation of the work (e.g. song composers, recording studio, production, sound engineering, arrangement and mastering), specifying ownership of copyright and giving consent to the applicant to purchase hologram for a specific sound and or audiovisual work.

 b)    For artists having produced their own work: The artist must produce a police affidavit stating that s/he produced his/her own copyrightable work.

 c)     For Groups/Duets:

  • Submit a police affidavit stating that the artist has produced his or her own copyrightable work.
  • A contractual agreement as described in 1(a) above.
  • A letter of consent from all members of the group/duet giving authorisation to the representative to purchase holograms on behalf of the group/duet. The letter must be signed by all members of the group.

2. Identification documents

  •  Certified copy of Omang for Botswana citizens or passport for non-citizens. For non-citizens, the passport must be certified by the issuing country’s embassy based in Botswana.  
  •  For registered businesses or individuals having registered businesses, submission of a copy of registration of business name certificate or certificate of incorporation (for companies).

3. Sample of the work for which the hologram is purchased

A copy of the sound or audiovisual work (i.e. CDs and DVDs). The sleeve of the cover of the CD or DVD must contain information about all people who contributed in the creation of the work e.g. lyrics writer, song composer, producer, recording studio, arrangement, mixing and mastering, sound engineering.

4. Accreditation fee

The accreditation fee is P40 (forty Pula) and it is valid for one year, after which a renewal fee of P40 must be in order to validate the file.

Requirements for accreditation as an Importer

Section 35E(1) provides that: “Any person who imports or intends to import, into Botswana,  any sound or audiovisual recording for the purpose of sale, rental lending or distribution in any manner to the public for commercial purposes shall apply in such a form as may be prescribed to the Copyright Office for accreditation as an importer authorised to use a security device in connection with such works.”

In addition to requirements for accreditation as a producer as stated above, the applicant for accreditation as an importer is required to submit the following:

  • Submit a signed letter from the wholesaler stating that you have been subcontracted to sell in Botswana
  • A catalogue that contains lists of songs they have been authorized to sell
  • Receipt as proof of purchase of works for which the hologram is being sought.

Link to the application form

NOTE: Holograms must be affixed only to works for which they have been purchased for. This means that hologram stamps are not transferable, i.e. they cannot be purchased for work A and be used to authenticate work B. The hologram should be placed on the work where potential customers would be able to see them clearly. The number of holograms pieces purchased should be determined by the number of works that are to be authenticated

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