CF: What is the difference between Needletime, Performing and Mechanical Rights?
TM: Needletime/Neighbouring Rights are the rights of the recording artist and record company in a sound recording (commercially released song) to earn royalties whenever their tracks are used in public. This right is administered by SAMPRA.
Performing Rights are the rights of the composer and publisher in a musical work (any song) to earn royalties whenever their songs are used in public. This right is administered by SAMRO.
Mechanical Rights are the rights of the composer and publisher in a musical work (any song) to earn royalties whenever their songs are copied. This right is administered by CAPASSO.
CF: COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the arts industry, with musicians being unable to perform at live events. What tips do you have for South African artists for future disasters such as this? How can Neighbouring Rights be used to save for times like this?
TM: Always ensure that you save for rainy days because rainy days will definitely come. They may take the form of pandemics, natural disasters or badly performing economies… but they will come, so it is always wise to save.
CF: Many are calling for radio stations to play only local music to help South African artists who are currently struggling. Do you think this is a viable option and how long would it take for musicians to receive their royalties?
TM: For all music that is played this year by licensees, all members (recording artists, composers, publishers and record companies) will be paid next year because that is how royalty cycles work. We collect the data over a period of 12 months and then pay the following year.