Erykah Badu once said “Music and the music business are two different things”, this quote resonates with the recent news about a brewing war between South African Gospel artist, Hlengiwe Mhlaba and the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) in an article that was published by City Press Newspaper, simply titled “Gospel shocker: How black musicians got screwed” Charl Blignaut: 2018-04-01”. Where her lawyer, Graeme Gilfillan claimed that SAMRO has been scamming artists out of their Performing Royalties for over 55 years by only paying out 16.7% of the royalties to the composer/author of the music and assigning the remaining 83.3% to a character known as “DP” (see article): https://city-press.news24.com/News/gospel-shocker-how-black-musicians-got-screwed-20180401.
SAMRO CEO, Nothando Migogo responded to the published allegations in a press release statement, clarifying the “DP” query. She stated that the name DP (Domaine Publique) meaning public domain simply refers to music that has been released to the public domain after a 50 year period since the original author/composer had passed and that anyone who re-arranges music from the public domain is then allocated 16.7% as an arranger since the music has already been composed. The remaining 83.3% assigned to category “DP” goes back to SAMRO and is distributed accordingly to SAMRO members. This was further clarified at the Annual SAMRO Roundtable Discussion.
The Durban leg of the discussion was held at the Playhouse theatre on the 13 of April 2018 where KUMISA highlighted the need for SAMRO to be more accessible in all 11 districts of KZN, highlighting the fact that there are many authors/composers who think that they are SAMRO members by virtue of them having submitted membership forms, notification of works and deeds of assignment. However they do not know what to do in order to be considered as SAMRO members. This and the question around the lack of SAMRO licensed music venues and festivals, is currently being discussed by KUMISA and SAMRO.
As performers, authors or composers, are you registered with the relevant collecting societies?
Did you know that you need to be registered with SAMRO for Performing Royalties, CAPASSO for Mechanical Royalties, SAMPRA or IMPRA for Needle-time Royalties, RiSA Audio Visual (RAV) or AIRCO for Music Video Royalty distribution? For more info on the above, kindly visit KUMISA and become a member.