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Samro’s coming for pubs, clubs, DJs and malls without music licences

Samro warns that there will be consequences for business owners who have not acquired a licence to play music in public.


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The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) warns that restaurants, shopping malls, clubs, DJs and pubs could soon run into trouble for not complying with the laws that govern music rights in South Africa. Samro chief executive officer Mark Rosin says there will be consequences for businesses that do not own a music licence.

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Samro’s role in South Africa is to collect and distribute royalties on behalf of its members. The organisation notes that nearly 20 000 people rely on royalties for their livelihoods. 

Mark Rosin says businesses such as restaurants, shopping malls, clubs, DJs and pubs are required to obtain the necessary license to play copyrighted music for the public.

Rosin says most business owners see not owning the licence as “minor” and there will be consequences for those who have not acquired it.

“Samro is going to take steps against businesses that are found to be non-compliant,” Rosin told Bizcommunity


Rosin further mentions that playing music in public without the necessary licence is unauthorised and could be interpreted as theft. 

“If you play any music to a public audience that isn’t written, created, performed, published, and recorded by you, then it belongs to the music creator and you need a licence.”

“People don’t mind paying for stock and music has to be seen as part of the ‘stock’ of a business that uses it.”

The details of the music rights law can be found in the Copyright Act

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Mark Rosin was appointed as Samro’s chief executive officer in February 2020. Rosin was the chief operations officer at eMedia Investments before joining Samro.

When the financial year ended in June 2020, the organisation had collected R400 million in royalties for distribution. 

“These figures clearly demonstrate that we are making progress in maximizing value for our members, however, we would like to see other businesses contribute their fair share.”

Speaking to Music in Africa he said there were big plans in store for Samro and says it will be a completely different and much more effective place.

“I think our music automation is going to be fantastic. I think that’s going to change the way in which we process, report and match things.”