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Copyright Review Commission Recommends Retrospective Payments of Royalties to Musicians 


The royalty collection agencies and the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) should be encouraged to effect payments of royalties to musicians retrospectively from 2006 when the Copyright Act and the Performers Protection Act came into legal force. This is one of the recommendations of the  Copyright Review Commission which was established by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies in November 2010 to review the concerns raised by the creative industry regarding the collection and distribution of royalties to artists.

The Commission, which was chaired by a retired judge, completed its work by submitting the report to Minister Davies and the Deputy Minister Thandi Tobias-Pokolo. The report, which was adopted by Cabinet with its recommendations earlier, has wide ranging recommendations, including the formation of an interdepartmental task team to implement resolutions related to copyright matters, such as amendment of Copyright Act and related legislation

The Commission has also recommend that ICASA should include as a condition in the broadcasters licences that compliance with needle time and copyright obligations is compulsory, and that a repeated failure by broadcasters to comply should lead to cancellation of their licences. It has also recommended that local content for public, private and community radio stations should be 80%, 50% and 80%, respectively. 

The Commission was not impressed by the fact that over 70% of royalties go outside South Africa.  Further, the Commission was worried that royalty collection is very low.  The Commission is of the view that collecting societies should collaborate with Government agencies in order to grow the industry.  The industry can set its own annual target collection and collections worth R1 billion is achievable in a period of five years.

Accordingly Minister Rob Davies, the report is released to the public/industry so that it can start to engage with the report in preparation of the meeting of Industry with the President in November 2012.

“It is hoped that the Creative Industry, in particular the Music Sector, will feel some relief as their plight will be alleviated to a great extent,” said Davies.

Davies added that the recommendations of Commission were also being incorporated in the draft Intellectual Property (IP) Policy that will be released for public comment soon. 

The Report can be accessed via the dti website: (

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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