The SABC has denied claims by the South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) and some music artists that it is refusing to pay Needletime Rights royalties, reportedly amounting to more than R250m over more than five years.
The SABC has never ever taken a licence with us. Ever.
We have engaged the SABC for years but they have consistently refused to take up a licence. Join the conversation #SABCfailsartists and let your voice be heard! pic.twitter.com/3WgShGr1AC
— SAMPRA (@OfficialSAMPRA) July 21, 2021
Sampra said in a statement this week that it would head to court to compel the public broadcaster to pay to use its artists’ music. The national broadcaster is reportedly struggling to pay almost 40 000 local artists in overdue royalties.
“Failure by the SABC to do so will lead to an interdict prohibiting it from playing tracks from the association’s repertoire — 99% of all tracks in SA,” it said.
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Gross misinformation being fuelled by Sampra
The SABC responded, saying it had noted the “scathing allegations” levelled against it and sought to “clarify the gross misinformation being fuelled by Sampra”.
The SABC has noted with concern the scathing allegations levelled against the Corporation by SAMPRA and some music artists through public statements.
— SABC (@SABCPortal) July 20, 2021
“The SABC has set aside an amount due for payment of needletime royalties and has always been ready to pay the amount to the relevant collecting societies. Both Impra and Sampra are aware of this. However, the SABC has not paid needletime royalties to either collecting society, as the two collecting societies have not agreed on the percentage split of the determined amount.”