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New royalty system with SAMRO

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) has been fully accredited as a collection society for Needletime Rights royalties in South Africa.
The new legislation came into force in June 2006, with the promulgation of regulations relating to the administration of Needletime Rights. Based on this, SAMRO has extended its ability to serve its members by also representing them on this important new royalty income stream.

The new accreditation means that SAMRO has become a means for performers and composers to collect the royalties due to them from their performances and recordings.

Needletime is a new royalty system in South Africa whereby music performers, vocalists, recording artists, instrumentalists as well as record companies are remunerated for the public performance (including the broadcast) of their recorded material.

These royalties will be collected from broadcasters and all establishments, such as bars and restaurants that use recorded music in public. This differs from the existing Performing Right royalty in that the Performing Right royalty is paid to the author, composer, and publisher of the music, whereas the Needletime Right royalty is about recorded performances, and not musical works. Therefore the Needletime Right royalty is paid not to the composer but to the actual musicians who performed the material during the recording, and to the record company that made the record. SAMRO is in negotiation with various interested parties such as SAMPRA (the collecting society for RiSA-affiliated record companies) and AIRCO (the Association of Independent Record Companies) to make sure that the system of proper collection of royalties is in place and effective.

Pfanani Lishivha, the newly-appointed general manager: Needletime Rights at SAMRO explains, “SAMRO has always had the interests of South African musicians at heart but the law has not always allowed us to help those who perform the music as opposed to those who compose it. Therefore we are very happy to be able to assist musicians in reaping the full benefits brought about by the introduction of Needletime to South Africa.”

Of the decision to move into Needletime administration, Lishivha remarks that, “SAMRO's Memorandum of Association has always been couched in such a way that it would be possible for SAMRO to administer a whole ‘bouquet' of music rights, thus including Needletime Rights. Based on this mandate SAMRO sought accreditation to administer Needletime from CIPRO.”

What Needletime means to the South African music industry is that musicians can now earn money in a new area. Previously, the only reward non-composing musicians would get from performing musical works would have been income received from live performances as well as royalties payable by record companies in terms of recording contracts. Now, even if they are not a composer, performers involved in the recording of material that is then played in public in its recorded form, will also receive a royalty.

All that any musician needs to do for their recorded performances to be eligible to earn Needletime royalties is to assign the administration of their Needletime Rights to SAMRO. What this means is that they thereby authorise SAMRO to administer these rights on their behalf and that, as a member whose recorded performances are performed or played in public, they will begin to receive Needletime royalties, as soon as the negotiation with music users to procure the necessary licences have been completed. This does not affect the composer's rights in any way, neither does it impact on nor influence the collection of any other royalties for composers. What it does do is give composers who also perform on recordings, another income stream, thereby increasing an artist's ability to make a living from music.
Loopy da Poop
Royalties, mechanicals and other things..-
hey Snarks ou. SAMRO are purely in place to protect the artist or label with collecting royalties from the below mentioned platforms, and in facilitating the relevant mechanical's and distributions of such royalties. To have them collecting royalties on your behalf will require the following: Firstly, you need to protect your tracks, and get an Internationally recognized code assigned to each track. This is called an ISRC code. In other words, you will be assigning a different code for each track. Most tracks today, are positioned for internet downloads, internet streaming, internet radio stations and traditional radio play. This is a free service worldwide, and should be available here also in that capacity. The contact details below is the company responsible for issuing ISRC codes for South Africa. SOUTH AFRICA Recording Industry Association of South Africa, PO Box 367, Randburg 2125 Tel: +27 11 886 1342; Fax: +27 11 886 4169 Point of Contact: Mr David du Plessis Email: Once you have your ISRC codes assigned to each track (you can also embed the ISRC info in the metadata of each track), then your next step is deciding whether you will release the tracks (or album) independently, or under an existing established label. This label does not have to be in South Africa. As I mentioned before, most of the track distribution will be digital, so you can sign with any label around the world. All radio stations, internet stations, streaming portals and download portals are required by law to account for the tracks they play or sell, and render the relevant play or sale royalties to the artist concerned. This is where SAMRO would come in, yeah? Now at some stage, you will have to get through to SAMRO, and get yourself onto their books as an artist, or in the case of signing with a label, then making sure they are on SAMRO's books, for the purpose of making sure your royalties are being collected on your behalf. Looking for a label, that has already signed with a digital distributor is never easy, but the following link might give you some new ideas. At the end of the day, the sexy money is in downloads, and the sexy portals for that, is iTunes, Rhapsody, napster, Amazon, emusic etc. Any label that uses IODA (above) - will pretty much guarantee you the best distribution out there. there are several South African Labels working with IODA, so you should not have a problem there. For traditional radio play, it will have to be knock-on-the-door stuff, until you can coax a friendly station manager into playing your tunes. Once that happens, then again, SAMRO will be alerted to that, and should collect royalties on your behalf. With regards to paying muso's when first recording the track, then there are two options: Either pay a once-off session fee, and never have to worry about them again (and get that in writing), or, In the case of collaboration work, again in writing, agree to split the royalties for the track in whatever pre-determined amounts you negotiate with the musicians. Good Luck.
Posted on 24 Mar 2010 14:19