THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY
“It is not correct that MTN is liable for billions of rands in royalty payments,” said sales, marketing and distribution executive Larry Annetts.
“MTN is up to date with most royalty payments with Capasso and is in the process of settling the recent royalty invoice ... for the current period, which amounts to less than R1 million.
“MTN understands the importance and imperative of paying music royalties for music that it sells on its platforms. With regard to payment of mechanical royalties, we have ... been trying to resolve [this] from as far back as 2012.”
He said there have been duplicate claims lodged by various collecting societies, but claims that are not duplicated are “paid without any question”.
“MTN has been dealing with alleged claims for Will of Steel Productions since 2012 ... Mr Gilfillan was invited to participate in this process; however, MTN had not received any document or response from him.”
Annetts confirmed Gilfillan had asked for information from MTN and was referred to CCA, which gave it to him. “Mr Gilfillan has, in fact, confirmed that he is asserting no claim on behalf of the individuals he represents.”
He said Capasso previously claimed royalties for both Will of Steel and 2Nite Enter10ment.
“The fact that both artists have not received their royalty payments is of concern and should be investigated.”
CCA says Will of Steel and 2Nite Enter10ment license sound recordings to it in terms of written contracts.
“Neither Will of Steel nor 2Nite Enter10ment has shown any proof that they each own the songs and publishing underlying the sound recordings,” said CCA’s Antos Stella. “CCA denies that it has infringed the copyright of Will of Steel and 2-Nite-Enter-10ment’s copyright in any of their songs and publishing.”
Stella said Will of Steel continues to invoice and receive money on revenue from master recordings every month and has not asked CCA to stop doing this.
“We informed Gilfillan that CCA sends recording royalty statements to his clients and that his clients are in possession of these statements,” she said. “We informed him that mechanical royalties are reflected on statements sent to his clients.”
“CCA can prove that it receives invoices from Will of Steel and 2Nite Enter10ment for recording royalties and that it pays them.”
Vodacom denies violating any musician’s copyright. “In particular, we reject any suggestion of criminal misconduct,” it said in a statement.
“We have communicated with Mr Gilfillan on this issue on an ongoing basis. Vodacom informed Mr Gilfillan that it reports to CCA ... in respect of his clients’ recordings.
“Mr Gilfillan needs to approach CCA.”