Artistes urged to register for royalties


Mohalenyane Phakela

SOUTH Africa’s Independent Music Performance Rights Association (IMPRA) has called on Lesotho’s artistes to submit their music to them for onward transmission to third party users who will pay royalties.

IMPRA is a society that licences the works of its members to third parties such as broadcasters like the South Africa Broadcasting Service (SABC), Urban Brew and Multichoice. It then collects royalties distributes these to the owners.

IMPRA’s call comes in the wake of the recent visit to Lesotho by its chairperson, Doda Monamodi, who attended the Lesotho Music Rights Association (LeMRA) workshop which was held in Maseru on 5 October this year.

During that workshop, IMPRA registered the names and contact details of musicians who attended.

IMPRA’s Senior Administrator, Nishie Heeralal, has since followed up on that by sending emails to the artistes asking them to submit their music to LeMRA’s Deputy President, Sechaba Moqoko, who will then forward to IMPRA for onward transmission to the different SABC channels.

The emails came with membership form as well as the basic requirements for each submission.

Part of the mail reads: “We at IMPRA are giving you an opportunity to have your music aired in South Africa.

“Please fill in the mandatory form that I have attached, which will in turn allow me to render this service to you and also collect royalties on your behalf.

“Sechaba Mokoqo ( has agreed to assist regarding this matter, please get hold of him and drop off your music compact discs. I will arrange to bring them to South Africa and thereafter submissions will be done to the broadcaster. I have also included the requirements of the broadcaster,” Heeralal said.

The requirements also indicate that for song submissions, there should be names and contact details of composer, publisher and the artist as well, copies of clearly labeled CDs which should be 11 in number if the submitter wants them distributed to all SABC radio stations. The songs should also have the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) which identifies a specific unique recording and can be permanently encoded into a product as a kind of digital fingerprint attained at South African Music Rights Organisation).

DVDs must be in an MXF file format and must be XD camera compatible.

Speaking to the Weekender, Moqoko said that the invitation is open to all local artistes regardless of the genre.

“The invitation is open to any local musician who has recorded music regardless of the genre,” Moqoko said.

“Only original works will be considered or songs with a maximum of two samplings and that have been cleared with the original owners.”

He said there were different types of royalties therefore it is important for artistes to have a publisher as the latter have access to information as to how many much artistes were likely to get.

“There is blanket licensing where the money which is collected that year is shared among artistes. In this case what matters is not the number of times one’s music was played but rather how much IMPRA charged a radio station to use the music of its members.

“There is also needletime licensing which is based on the amount of airplay. It is therefore important for a musician to be signed to a publisher who can monitor the amount of airplay as the publisher has access to those statistics. To my knowledge there are two publishing companies in the country which are YME and KOL Productions.

“Needletime royalties also differ as there are commercial, community and store radio stations which pay different amounts of royalties hence it is important to have a publisher to monitor all that,” he said.

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