Collective Management Organisations South Africa

A Collecting Management Organisations (CMO) takes assignment of an author’s rights which results in a loss of ownership to the author. Intellectual Property is like “land” developing rental income to its owners every time it is performed or reproduced.

When an author writes a piece of music it is protected by the Copyright Act, No 98 of 1978. The rights reside with the author. Before the Copyright Act of 1978 there were three CMOs, South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), South African Recording Rights Association (SARRAL) and Dramatic Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and two Trade Associations, National Organisation of Reproduction Rights in Music (NORM) and Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA). Since the Collection Societies Regulations of 2006, this has changed with two new CMOs Composers Authors & Publishers Association(CAPASSO) replacing SARRAL and South African Music Performance Association (SAMPRA) for the new needle-time right, as well as the addition of Association of Independent Record Companies (AIRCO), Independent Music Performance Rights Association (IMPRA) and RiSA Audio Visual (RAV). SAMPRA received a Section 3(1)a accreditation in 2008, to collect on needle-time, although the law came into practice in SA in 2002.

Information is key in this industry. Broadcast rights should be collected by one source. That one collection society should be paying everyone as the detection of that sound recording has the same impact on both needletime and composers rights. It would make sense forIMPRA, SAMPRA, SAMRO, RAV, CAPASSO to use one system.

For many music entrepreneurs throughout Africa, getting paid fairly for the use of your work by broadcasters and other public performance users, is not always easy. This money is paid to collective music organisations (CMO)who are meant to make the process easy and transparent. Many recent media reports in South Africa indicate that this is not often the case.

It is certain that if your works are not properly registered with correct CMO, your royalties will not be paid to you; and possibly claimed by someone else; or disappear into an arbitrary distribution pool. These practices, which have all but disappeared globally are still practised in South Africa and probably throughout the entire continent.

In South Africa, if you have produced a music video you need to become a member of RISA or AIRCO. They collect royalties for the use of music videos from the SABC and a few other sources. In general, the major record labels mandate RISA to collect video performance royalties together with a group of independents and only the smaller independents give their mandate to AIRCO.

It appears that the communication between these fiercely competing organisations is non-existent and the systems so opaque that it is possible for independents to collect from both organisations. This illegal practice is not recommended.

The best advice is to join the organisation where you feel most comfortable, as it is impossible to predict which will pay you more fairly and both have been criticised for questionable distribution practices. If you have recorded any music tracks of your own, you need to register these with a different CMO. In this case, it would be either SAMPRA and IMPRA. The original rationale for two CMOs was that one, IMPRA, would collect for the independents and the other, SAMPRA, for the majors. Neither of these organisations is able to collect on behalf of their record label members from the larger international revenue sources. South African independents who wish to get paid from these important sources must organise themselves for these purposes.

Performance Rights CMO

SAMRO is a membership based Non Profit Company for composer, authors, arrangers and publishers. It has a monopoly in South Africa. SAMRO is a collective management organization (CMO). It takes assignment of performing rights of members’ songs and licenses these rights, including broadcasting rights, for a fee to users.

Mechanical Rights in South Africa

South African Recording Rights Association (SARRAL) was formed in 1966 with a Section 6 mechanical and performance right in musical and literary works. CAPASSO was born out of a merger between SAMRO and National Organisation of Reproduction Rights in Music (NORM) and replaced SARRAL. CAPASSO offer blanket licences for the mechanical right on the printing of a disk for usage and or resale.

Needletime Rights in South Africa

SAMPRA and IMPRA collect license fees from radio stations for broadcast and from retailers, gyms etc for recorded music played in public. There is a collection society that collects for the majors and some independents and one that collects for independents in all cases.

Needletime Rights in South Africa

SAMPRA and IMPRA collect license fees from radio stations for broadcast and from retailers, gyms etc for recorded music played in public. There is a collection society that collects for the majors and some independents and one that collects for independents in all cases.

Music Video Rights

RISA, with 5000 members, the majority black has 50% of its Board controlled by 3 companies Universal, Gallo, Warner using the much maligned “market share” approach to makes this 50% call. RAV collects mainly from TV stations for the use of music videos. Initially RAV refused to collect on behalf of record companies that were not members of RISA.

Music Video Rights

AIRCO collects mainly from TV stations for the use of music videos. AIRCO was established in 2005 through funding from two large independent labels at the time, Coolspot and Bula Records. Later funding and support came from the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). AIRCO set up its own video collection society