Musicians’ case over royalties for background music in stores dismissed

THE Constitutional Court has dismissed a case between the South African Music Performance Association (Sampra) and six of SA’s biggest retailers, over needletime royalties — which means music royalty rates will remain the same for South African musicians.

After having gone through the Copyright Tribunal, High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal over the past three years, Sampra had brought the case to the Constitutional Court in the hopes of having the case referred back to the Tribunal.

The dispute was over the rate payable to South African musicians for background music played in the various retail stores.

Sampra argued that the current tariff payable was below the international standard and did not take into consideration the value to the retailers of the music being played in their stores.

The retailers, who include The Foschini Group, Pepkor, Mr Price and Truworths, among others, argued that the tariff proposed by Sampra was exorbitant and was erroneously calculated in accordance with the rates of some of the wealthiest countries in the world.

The Constitutional Court said Sampra’s case had “no prospect of success”, and no oral arguments were heard.

TMG Digital



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