Artists petition government for copyright reform

Led by singer Sibongile Khumalo, artists calling for changes to copyright legislation handed over a petition to the ministry of trade and industry on Monday.

The board of the Performers’ Organisation of South Africa (Posa) urged Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to draft law amendments to make it easier for artists to collect royalties.

It said loopholes in the existing legislation had resulted in recording artists losing about R100-million due to them in so-called “needletime” royalties—which should entitle artists and composers to receive payment each time one of their songs is played in public places, including restaurants and shops, or on radio, TV or downloaded over cellphone or to a PC.

The petition includes proposed law changes and the organisation said it would forward the document to Parliament’s portfolio committee on trade and industry.

Last year, DTI launched a review commission, headed by retired Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Ian Farlam, to investigate allegations that royalties were being withheld from local artists.—Sapa

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