SABC Dragged To Court


By  | Jul 21, 2021, 05:03 PM  | Drama

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South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) is taking the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to court over unpaid Needletime Rights royalties.

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SAMPRA said the public broadcaster is taking food out of artists’ mouths. According to the statement released by the organizations, SABC owes artists Needletime Rights amounting to millions of Rands.

The statement reads: “In an ongoing moral and legal battle, the South Africa Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) is continuing to fight for recording artists and record companies by instating legal action against 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 SAMPRA’s repertoire which is 99% of all tracks in South Africa. During a financial 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 250 million over more than five years.”  

The statement furthermore explains that the SABC is not only flouting the law but further continues to use SAMPRA members’ intellectual property without compensating them for their work.

“By blatantly exploiting the performing artists, the beleaguered corporation is directly infringing on the artists’ rights to generate an income from their music”

SAMPRA CEO Pfanani Lishivha said the SABC’s decision to not pay for    Needletime rights has affected SAMPRA members badly.

As SAMPRA, we represent more than 38000 direct performer members and almost 6000 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,”

Here is the list of some of the popular artists that SAPRA said their songs will also be removed from the playlist of the SABC radio station. Donald, Nasty C, Holly Rey, Black Coffee, Master KG, DJ Maphorisa, and DJ Ganyani.

Fans have applauded the organization for taking legal actions against the SABC. Here are few reactions.

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