Southern African Music Rights Organisation

Last updated

Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC
Type Not for profit
Headquarters Braamfontein, South Africa
Key people
Nicholas Maweni, Chairman

SAMRO, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation, is a copyright asset management society. It was established by the South African Copyright Act, [1] and aims to protect the intellectual property of music creators by licensing music users, collecting licence fees and distributing royalties to music creators. [2] SAMRO represents more than 15,000 Southern African music composers, lyricists/authors and music publishers. [3] The organisation administers performing rights. [4]



The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (name since 1974) was formed in December 1961 [5] under the chairmanship of Dr. Gideon Roos Senior, [6] a former Director-General of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). [7]

SAMRO began operations in January 1962 with 40 South African composers and 13 music publishers, taking over from the UK royalty collecting society PRS. [8] In June 1962, SAMRO was accepted as a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). [9] In the same year, Strike Vilakazi, the composer of the anti-apartheid song Meadowlands became the first black member of SAMRO. [10]

In 2012, SAMRO commemorated its 50th anniversary with a series of events, including the Builders’ Awards, which recognised musicians, staff members and others who had contributed to the organisation over the years. [11]

In 2013, SAMRO launched the Wawela Music Awards to pay tribute to South African composers who have made a significant contribution on the international and local music scene. [12]

On 1 May 2013, SAMRO converted from a company limited by guarantee (a corporate form no longer supported by the Companies Act 71 of 2008 [13] ) to a Non Profit Company, [14] and now operates under the name of Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC.

In March 2014, SAMRO announced the transfer of its mechanical rights licensing operation to CAPASSO (Composers Authors and Publishers Association), as recommended by the 2012 Copyright Review Commission Report. [15] [16]

Global affiliations

SAMRO has reciprocal agreements with 225 collecting societies in 150 countries allowing it to collect music royalties on behalf of its members around the world. [17]

SAMRO is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). [18] SAMRO is involved in CISAC initiatives in Africa, including projects affiliated with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), [19] and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). [20] SAMRO is also accredited with BIEM, [21] an organisation co-ordinating statutory license agreements among different countries.

SAMRO is associated with industry trade fairs and music showcases such as MIDEM in France and the World Music Expo (WOMEX), as well as with bodies such as the South African Music Export Council (SAMEX). [22] Nicholas Maweni appointed as SAMRO's Independent Chairman

See also

Related Research Articles

Copyrights can either be licensed or assigned by the owner of the copyright. A copyright collective is a non-governmental body created by copyright law or private agreement which licenses copyrighted works on behalf of the authors and engages in collective rights management. Copyright societies track all the events and venues where copyrighted works are used and ensure that the copyright holders listed with the society are remunerated for such usage. The copyright society publishes its own tariff scheme on its websites and collects a nominal administrative fee on every transaction.

A performance rights organisation (PRO), also known as a performing rights society, provides intermediary functions, particularly collection of royalties, between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works publicly in locations such as shopping and dining venues. Legal consumer purchase of works, such as buying CDs from a music store, confer private performance rights. PROs usually only collect royalties when use of a work is incidental to an organisation's purpose. Royalties for works essential to an organisation's purpose, such as theaters and radio, are usually negotiated directly with the rights holder.

PRS for Music British music rights society

PRS for Music Limited is a British music copyright collective, made up of two collection societies: the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and the Performing Right Society (PRS). It undertakes collective rights management for musical works on behalf of its 140,000 members. PRS for Music was formed in 1997 following the MCPS-PRS Alliance. In 2009, PRS and MCPS-PRS Alliance realigned their brands and became PRS for Music.

A royalty is a payment made by one party to another that owns a particular asset, for the right to ongoing use of that asset. Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation. A royalty interest is the right to collect a stream of future royalty payments.

APRA AMCOS consists of Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), both copyright management organisations or copyright collectives which jointly represent over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia and New Zealand. The two organisations work together to license public performances and administer performance, communication and reproduction rights on behalf of their members, who are creators of musical works, aiming to ensure fair payments to members and to defend their rights under the Australian Copyright Act (1968).

The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers is an international non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation that aims to protect the rights and promote the interests of creators worldwide. It advocates for strong legal protection of copyright and authors' rights. It is the world's largest international network of authors' societies, also known as Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), copyright / royalty collection societies, collecting societies, or Performing Rights Organisations (PROs).

Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores de Música (SADAIC) is the entity that gathers all musicians and authors of Argentina, and the Argentine performance rights organisation that keeps registry of musical works, and collects and distributes royalties on behalf of the artists.

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Teosto is a non-profit performance rights organization that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers in Finland. Teosto is a member of the Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC). It represents 29 000 Finnish, and nearly three million foreign composers, songwriters, arrangers and publishers. The organization's clients are 29,000 music-using companies and communities.

KODA is the collecting society for songwriters, composers and music publishers of Denmark.

Collective rights management is the licensing of copyright and related rights by organisations acting on behalf of rights owners. Collective management organisations, such as collecting societies, typically represent groups of copyright and related rights owners, such as authors, composers, publishers, writers, photographers, musicians and performers. At the least, copyright owners authorize collective rights management organizations to monitor the use of their works, negotiate licenses with prospective users, collect remuneration for use of copyrighted works, ensuring a fair distribution of such remuneration amongst copyright owners. Governmental Supervision varies across jurisdictions, from being limited to antitrust regulation in the United States to sectoral regulators in jurisdictions like the EU, India.

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Charles Segal (pianist) American Jazz pianist

Charles Segal in 1929 is a classically trained jazz and commercial pianist, and composer. When Charles was 2, his mother, mandolinist, Riva Segal, brought her two sons, Louis and Charles, to escape the Holocaust from Lithuania to Cape Town, South Africa. They travelled from Germany on the ship, the SS Adolph Woermann. Riva also brought with her, her half sister, and her family: Ella and Ber Skikne and their three sons, the youngest being Hirske, who became renowned actor, Laurence Harvey. [1] Segal studied classical music, becoming an Associate (ATCL) and a Licentiate of the Trinity College of London (LTCL) in performance and teaching. Segal had a well-known musical career as a pianist, composer, publisher, arranger and teacher. He was a founding member of the Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) and the Drama and Literary Rights Organization (DALRO) in 1961 along with Dr. Gideon Roos Senior. He founded the Charles Segal Music School in Pretoria and Cape Town. In 1971 Charles met his third wife, Colleen Hay, an actress, musician and singer in the popular band called The In-Set.The Cape Argus January 1978. Colleen later founded the Hay-Schneider School of Speech and Drama in Cape Town The Cape Times 1976 and the Centre stage Theatre school in Newton, MA, USA. Boston Sunday Globe 1986. Charles and Colleen have two children together, Reeve Segal, attorney, and Melanie Segal, PR expert. Charles also has two older children from his second marriage.

VAGA is an artists’ rights organization and copyright collective, representing over 6,000 visual artists worldwide.

The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP) is a Jamaican not-for-profit membership collective management organization which was established in 1998. JACAP administers the public performance and, if assigned also, the mechanical (reproductive) rights and synchronization rights of lyricists (authors), music composers and music publishers in Jamaica. JACAP is a member of the umbrella organisation for copyright societies CISAC - The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. JACAP is also a founding member of The Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS).

The Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS) was formed in 1985 by authors to advance the cause of copyright administration in Uganda. It registered with the Registrar of Companies as a Company Limited by Guarantee having no share capital as it belongs to all of its members.

The Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel, known by the acronym ACUM, is a non-profit copyright collective which engages in collective rights management for authors, poets, lyricists, composers, arrangers, and music publishers in Israel. As a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), ACUM is affiliated with more than 100 similar rights organizations around the world, with which it engages in reciprocal royalty collection agreements. It also holds an annual prize ceremony which honors authors and musicians in many categories, including lifetime achievement.

The Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA) is a South Korean non-profit copyright collective for musical works, administering public performance and broadcasting rights, and mechanical recording and reproduction rights. Founded in 1964, it is the second collective rights management organization for musical works in Asia, after JASRAC in Japan. It is also one of the largest in Asia, with over 20,000 members. In 2015, it collected ₩143 billion in licensing fees and distributed ₩137 billion in royalties to its members.

Strike David Vilakazi was a South African vocalist, drummer, trumpeter, composer, and music producer. He was known for composing the anti-apartheid song "Meadowlands", and for his career as a producer, during which he was influential in the development of mbaqanga.


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  5. "CISAC: 50 Years of Protecting Intellectual Property Rights". Billboard: C-44. 6 November 1976.
  6. "Gideon Roos". South African History Online.
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  8. "CISAC: 50 Years of Protecting Intellectual Property Rights". Billboard: C-44. 6 November 1976.
  9. Mojapelo, Max (2008). Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music. African Minds. p. 24. ISBN   9781920299286.
  10. Mojapelo, Max (2008). Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music. African Minds. pp. 24–25. ISBN   9781920299286.
  11. "SAMRO Celebrates Legacy with Builders' Awards". BizCommunity. 2 July 2012.
  12. Mathe, Sam (12 March 2013). "Samro unveils categories for first Wawela Awards".
  13. "Companies Act 71 of 2008" (PDF). South African Government. 2008.
  14. "SAMRO Notes, December 2013" (PDF). SAMRO. 1 December 2013. p. 3.
  15. "CAPASSO -The Mechanical Rights hub launched at Music Exchange '14". SAMRO. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  17. "Company Profile". SAMRO Foundation.
  18. "Annual Report". CISAC. 2012.
  19. Coetzer, Diane (31 January 2009). "Pay Pal". Billboard.
  20. "Cultural Diversity in Focus at Convention". SAMRO. 21 October 2011.
  21. "Annual Report" (PDF). SAMRO. 2007.
  22. "Licensed to Play". SAMRO Foundation. January 2013.