This is war, Hot­stix de­clares

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Sunday World - - News - BOI­TUMELO TL­HOAELE

MU­SI­CIAN Sipho Hot­stix Mabuse has de­scribed the wres­tle for the roy­al­ties owed to lo­cal artists as a war.

In a war sit­u­a­tion, people will get called up… If you’re will­ing to lay down your life, then raise your hand’, and so I raised mine,” he said.

Mabuse said the words dur­ing what was de­scribed as a heated meet­ing at the Mu­sic Ex­change Con­fer­ence held at Cape Town’s City Hall last weekend.

The is­sue is around un­paid needle­time” roy­al­ties of more than R180-mil­lion.

My task is go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult one, but I’ll do my best,” said the award-win­ning Mabuse.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view at his home in Pimville, Soweto, this week, Mabuse said the needle­time” topic was part of the agenda again at the mu­sic con­fer­ence last week.

He said it had al­ways been a sore point in the South African mu­sic in­dus­try.

Pfanani Lishivha, ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager of the Per­form­ers Or­gan­i­sa­tion of South Africa (Posa) trust, ex­plained that the money that had been col­lected from needle­time roy­al­ties was sit­ting in the ac­count of the South African Mu­sic Per­for­mance Rights As­so­ci­a­tion (Sam­pra) and had not been dis­trib­uted.

Lishivha said Sam­pra wanted to be the sole col­lec­tor and dis­trib­u­tor of roy­al­ties to record com­pa­nies.

They want to take ev­ery­thing to the record com­pa­nies, and that it should be up to them [the record com­pa­nies] to de­cide who gets

what, he said.

Lishivha and Mabuse agreed that Sam­pra s ap­proach was flawed.

They want to be the only ones to de­ter­mine the rules of en­gage­ment,” said Mabuse.

Lishivha said the roy­al­ties had come into ef­fect in 2006, but had only been col­lected since 2008.

Needle­time roy­al­ties came about in 2002, when the copy­right and per­form­ers pro­tec­tion acts were amended.

This came af­ter a rec­om­men­da­tion by a mu­sic in­dus­try task

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team, put in place by Ben Ngubane, then min­is­ter of arts, cul­ture, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, to try to sort out some of the in­dus­try’s trou­bles.

And from this, the needle­time roy­al­ties came about.

This al­lowed mu­si­cians, record­ing artists and record com­pa­nies to be paid when their recorded mu­sic is broad­cast, used or per­formed in pub­lic.

Lishivha said the leg­is­la­tion had al­lowed for any­one to ad­min­is­ter on be­half of record com­pa­nies, or per­form­ers only or both”.

He said the South­ern African Mu­sic Rights Or­gan­i­sa­tion (Samro) then es­tab­lished the Posa trust to rep­re­sent the artists, while the Record­ing In­dus­try of South Africa es­tab­lished Sam­pra to rep­re­sent the record­ing la­bels.

Lishivha said the money col­lected in roy­al­ties would be split 50% each way.

Sam­pra chief ex­ec­u­tive David du Plessis con­firmed that money had been col­lected, but blamed Samro for the dis­tri­bu­tion prob­lems.

The money hasn’t been dis­trib­uted be­cause Samro has op­posed our dis­tri­bu­tion plan,” said Du Plessis.

He said their dis­tri­bu­tion plan was in line with the Copy­right Act and the col­lect­ing so­ci­ety reg­u­la­tions, which stip­u­late that the roy­al­ties should be dis­trib­uted to the record com­pa­nies.

We can’t go against what the act says, do­ing some­thing that is con­trary to the agree­ment.”

He sup­ports Mabuse’s fight, but said the mu­si­cian was point­ing fin­gers at the wrong people. I agree they must fight, but they’re di­rect­ing their anger at the wrong party.”

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