SABC clears the air on claims it is refusing to pay royalties

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The SABC has hit back at claims by the South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) and some music artists that it is refusing to pay Needletime Rights royalties, reportedly amounting to more than R250m over more than five years.

Sampra said in a statement this week that it would head to court to compel the public broadcaster to pay to use its artists’ music.

“Failure by the SABC to do so will lead to an interdict prohibiting it from playing tracks from the association’s repertoire — 99% of all tracks in SA,” it said.

The SABC responded, saying it had noted the “scathing allegations” levelled against it and sought to “clarify the gross misinformation being fuelled by Sampra”.

“The SABC has a legal obligation to pay a predetermined percentage of needletime royalties to registered and accredited collecting societies. Currently, there are two known registered and accredited collecting societies, namely: Impra and Sampra.

“The SABC has set aside an amount due for payment of needletime royalties and has always been ready to pay the amount to the relevant collecting societies. Both Impra and Sampra are aware of this. However, the SABC has not paid needletime royalties to either collecting society, as the two collecting societies have not agreed on the percentage split of the determined amount.”

It said it had proposed that the dispute be referred to arbitration but this had also hit a brick wall.

“It is imperative to note that the SABC cannot pay needletime royalties to any collecting society while a dispute on the percentage split between the two collecting societies remains unresolved. Further, the resolution of the percentage split is dependent on the two collecting societies and not on the SABC,” the broadcaster added.

It claimed to have already made an advance payment of R20m to both agencies, and said it would respond to the legal challenge once it had been served with the relevant papers.

sowetanlive.co.za 

SABC accused of taking food out of artists’ mouths by not paying royalties

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Johannesburg – A music blackout looms for SABC as the SA Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) takes the public broadcaster to court to compel it to pay needle-time royalties.

Sampra issued a statement on Monday accusing the public broadcaster of “taking food out of artists’ mouths” in recording artists and record companies’ legal battle over the non-payment of needletime royalties.

“Failure by the SABC to pay will inevitably lead to an interdict prohibiting the SABC from playing tracks from

Sampra’s repertoire – which is 99% of all tracks in South Africa,” Sampra said.

These include the music of award-winning artists such as singer-songwriter Donald, rapper Nasty C, DJ and music producer Black Coffee and Jerusalem hitmaker Master KG.

The association accused the public broadcaster of using its members’ intellectual property without compensation for their work.

“By maintaining their stance of not paying for needletime rights as well as negotiating in bad faith, the broadcaster is continuing in its trend of undermining Sampra’s members,” chief executive Pfanani Lishivha said.

“Thousands of Sampra members are directly losing an income from the broadcaster, and this has resulted in dire consequences, such as members’ houses being repossessed, artists being unable to pay for their children’s school fees and not being able to pay for day-to-day expenses such as food, electricity and water,” Lishivha said.

Sampra member and legendary jazz, funk and disco singer Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse added that the artist’s plight is not taken as seriously as other industries.

The SABC’s group executive for corporate affairs and marketing, Gugu Ntuli, said the corporation had set aside an amount due for payment of needletime royalties and has “always” been ready to pay the amount to the relevant collecting societies, namely Sampra and the Independent Music Performance Rights Association (Impra).

“However, the SABC has not paid needletime royalties to either collecting society as the two societies have not agreed on the percentage split of the determined amount,” Ntuli said.

She added that the SABC cannot pay needletime royalties to any collecting society while a dispute on the percentage split between the two societies remains unresolved.

“Most importantly, in order to help bring relief to the beneficiaries of needletime royalties, and as part of the SABC’s commitment to the payment of needletime royalties, the SABC has already made an advance payment of R20 million to both collecting societies,” the corporation said.

Sampra management has hit back and accused the SABC of deception in its allegations that the non-payment was due to the collecting societies not agreeing on a percentage split.

“There is nothing that we as Sampra need to agree with Impra because Impra is not using our members’ money, the SABC is,” they said.

www.iol.co.za

SABC is pouring salt into artists’ wounds as it takes food out their mouths

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The broadcaster is worsening the already dire situation of performers by refusing to pay royalties, says Sampra

In an ongoing moral and legal battle, the South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) is continuing to fight for recording artists and record companies by instituting legal action against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Sampra is applying to the courts to compel the public broadcaster to pay to use its artists’ music. Failure by the SABC to do so will inevitably lead to an interdict prohibiting it from playing tracks from the association’s repertoire — 99% of all tracks in SA…

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SAMPRA is taking the SABC to court for failing to pay the R250M they owe in Needletime royalties,

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In an on-going moral and legal battle, the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) is continuing to fight for recording artists and record companies by instituting legal action against the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC). SAMPRA is applying to the courts to compel the SABC to pay for the use of their artists’ music.

Failure by the SABC to pay will inevitably lead to an interdict prohibiting the SABC from playing tracks from SAMPRAs’ repertoire – which is 99% of all tracks in South Africa.

During a financially crippling period, due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the SABC is directly endangering recording artists’ livelihoods and effectively ending careers by refusing to pay for Needletime rights, amounting to more than R250 million over more than five years.

The public broadcaster is not only flouting the law, but further continues to use SAMPRA members’ intellectual property without compensating them for their works. By blatantly exploiting the performing artists, the beleaguered corporation is directly infringing on the artists’ rights to generate an income from their music.

“It is more than 16 months since South Africa went into lockdown and the SABC is pouring salt into the wounds of recording artists. By maintaining their stance of not paying for Needletime rights, as well as negotiating in bad faith, the broadcaster is continuing in its trend of undermining SAMPRA’s members,” said SAMPRA CEO, Pfanani Lishivha.

“As SAMPRA, we represent more than 38 000 direct performer members, and almost 6 000 direct record company members. This amounts to 99% of all tracks performed in South Africa, and a large number of these are played on SABC radio stations. SAMPRA members’ intellectual property makes up more than 95% of the SABC’s playlist. Thousands of SAMPRA members are directly losing an income from the broadcaster, and this has resulted in dire consequences, such as members’ houses being repossessed, artists being unable to pay for their children’s school fees and not being able to pay for day-to-day expenses such as food, electricity and water,” added Lishivha.

As an organisation that administers Needletime Rights on behalf of recording artists, the work they do has a direct impact on the lives of artists. Artists such as the legendary jazz, funk and disco singer Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and iconic house music producer, DJ Ganyani, are just some of the people that are paying with their livelihoods, each time the SABC does not remunerate them for using their intellectual property. Watch this space.

SAMPRA boycott could see a total music blackout on SABC

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SABC could lose rights to broadcasting music from SAMPRA artists if SAMPRA goes ahead with its court application to force the broadcaster into paying back-dated royalties.

The South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) is on the verge of strong-arming SABC into a total blackout over unpaid royalties totalling R250 million.

SABC FACES MUSIC BLACKOUT: HERE’S WHY

If this happens, every state-owned media outlet will be restricted from playing music administered by SAMPRA, from top-draw artists like Babes WodumoCassper NyovestKabza De Small and thousands more.

SAMPRA CEO Pfanani Lishivha revealed in a recent interview with Power FM that the argument from their end is simple: SABC ought to pay back-dated royalties, make commitments to settle future-dated debts or unlist its member-base from its playlists.

Lishivha revealed that before the end of July, SAMPRA will release a statement detailing its intentions to take the state-owned broadcast to court over continued failure to honour payments of public performance royalties for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 financial years.

The association’s CEO added that this last resort could have been avoided if SABC was forthcoming with finding common ground in a decade-long dispute.

“If they were willing to come to the table and say, ‘we have a cash problem, what can we do to resolve this problem?’, we would have been willing to discuss a payment plan,” Lishivha said.

HOW MUCH DOES SAMPRA WANT?

At this time, SAMPRA has not indicated when it intends to pursue the legal route. The national broadcaster, on the other hand, has yet to offer an official response to these threats.

From what we understand, SABC and SAMPRA have been at loggerheads over profit splits, turning over financial records to the music rights association and a number of housekeeping issues.

“We have, in the last four years, paid in excess of R804 million. If we had money from the SABC, we would probably be talking about R1.3 billion that would have been paid to our artists but, unfortunately, the public broadcaster, the only broadcaster that gets money from the government and the public is the one that’s not willing to play ball,” Lishivha said.

swisherpost.co.za

SAMPRA to take legal action against SABC over unpaid royalties

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The South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) has announced that it will take legal action against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) over needletime royalties.

Needletime rights are paid out to record labels and recording artists for the public performance of their commercially released recordings. SAMPRA says it will file a complaint with the courts to compel the SABC to pay for the use of its artists’ music. The collective management organisation (CMO) said the SABC’s failure to pay would result in an interdict prohibiting the public broadcaster from playing tracks from SAMPRA’s repertoire, which constitutes 99% of South African compositions.

“It is more than 16 months since South Africa went into lockdown and the SABC is pouring salt into the wounds of recording artists,” SAMPRA CEO Pfanani Lishivha said. “By maintaining their stance of not paying for needletime rights, as well as negotiating in bad faith, the broadcaster is continuing in its trend of undermining SAMPRA’s members.

“As SAMPRA, we represent more than 38 000 direct performer members, and almost 6 000 direct record company members. This amounts to 99% of all tracks performed in South Africa, and a large number of these are played on SABC radio stations. SAMPRA members’ intellectual property makes up more than 95% of the SABC’s playlist. Thousands of SAMPRA members are directly losing an income from the broadcaster, and this has resulted in dire consequences, such as members’ houses being repossessed, artists being unable to pay for their children’s school fees and not being able to pay for day-to-day expenses such as food, electricity and water.”

SAMPRA said the SABC had jeopardised artists’ livelihoods by refusing to pay royalties amounting to more than R250m ($17m), particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown when artists have not been permitted to host performances.

“The public broadcaster is not only flouting the law, but further continues to use SAMPRA members’ intellectual property without compensating them for their works,” SAMPRA said. “By blatantly exploiting the performing artists, the beleaguered corporation is directly infringing on the artists’ rights to generate an income from their music.”

Legendary musician Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse weighed in on the matter and implored the SABC to pay up.

“As artists, it seems like our plight is not taken as seriously as other industries,“ he said. ”The lockdown has been detrimental for us, as we are not able to generate a single cent. But ironically, the SABC continues to play our tracks in order to make the public feel hopeful about the current state of affairs and to generate advertising revenue for themselves. The SABC knows the power of music, but they are not willing to pay us for our works.”

This is not the first time SAMPRA has taken on the SABC over royalties. In 2018, the CMO and the Independent Music Performing Rights Association were at loggerheads with the state-owned broadcaster over what they called disproportionate royalty payouts.

musicinafrica.net

Power FM interview: SAMPRA CEO, Pfanani Lishivha, discussing the music business value chain

Power FM interview on #POWERBusiness show with SAMPRA CEO, Pfanani Lishivha, discussing the music business value chain, SAMPRA’s financial performance, and the SABC matter