Artists informed about copyright and royalties

TALKING ABOUT MUSIC: Vocalists and producers showed up for Samro’s public domain works at the Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre in East London. Picture: AMANDA NANO

Music royalties and other burning issues were on the table as the South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) visited East London musicians at the Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre (ECAVC) in East London on April 5.

It formed part of the organisation’s nationwide roadshow to inform Samro members about the importance of public domain works.

Artwork remains copyright protected for the duration of the creator’s life and then 50 years after their death.

As Samro legal services general manager Chola Makgamathe said, once the 50 year limit ends, then the protection expires and artwork falls within the public domain for royalty-free usage and exploitation, without legal consequences.

“There needs to be a careful balancing act between the protectors of the works and the users of the works,” Makgamathe said.

Other issues touched on included the infringement of moral rights, such as doing a cover version of someone’s song and posting it on YouTube without acknowledging the artist.

“It is to your benefit to keep records of your original creation in case of infringement,” said Samro managing director Andre Le Roux said.

Matters also arose of stolen work and how one can prove that the work is indeed their own.

Another issue was the visibility of Samro within the Eastern Cape.

For producer and vocalist Lungisile Mdunyelwa, the workshop gave him a broader understanding of how public domain works.

“I will now be able to go back and trace the work so I can be able to make new songs.

“I wish Samro could have an office in the province because a lot of information can be passed on,” Mdunyelwa said.

For more information, contact Samro on marketing@samro.org.za or visit their Facebook page, Samro.

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