Legal Information

This section is provided for your general information only. It is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as or relied on, as legal advice. You should make your own enquiries, and seek appropriate advice, about the provisions of the Copyright Act, which are relevant to you and the implications for you and/or your business.

Under section 9 of the Copyright Act 1978 (“the Act”), the copyright in relation to a sound recording is the exclusive right to do all or authorize any of the following acts, amongst others:

  • Broadcasting the sound recording
  • Causing the sound recording to be transmitted in a diffusion service, unless the service transmits a lawful broadcast, including the sound recording, and is operated by the original broadcaster
  • Communicating the sound recording to the public.

Generally, copyright in a sound recording is infringed if a person other than the copyright owner or a person authorized by the copyright owner does any of these acts. Warning notices regarding unauthorized public performance, broadcasting, transmission, renting and/or copying of sound recordings typically appear on a sound carriers like CDs and Cassettes. The copyright owners can grant permission for communicating to the public, broadcasts and other uses of the protected sound recordings they own or control. SAMPRA is authorized by the members of RiSA to grant licences to organizations and individuals to broadcast, transmit in a diffusion service and communicate to the public their sound recordings, in return for payment of the licence fee.

A licence from SAMPRA must be obtained in advance of any broadcast or communication of protected sound recordings to the public in SAMPRA’s repertoire. Failure to do so would render the user subject to legal action for copyright infringement.

If a user raises a dispute regarding a licence royalty charged by SAMPRA in terms of the applicable tariff, the user may (until such time as the matter is resolved by the Copyright Tribunal), continue to use the sound recordings in SAMPRA’s repertoire if the user pays the licence fee proposed by SAMPRA into an escrow account.