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South African Music Rights Organisation


Performing Rights:

Performing Rights belong to the person or people who own the music. That’s music composers, lyricists or music publishers who wrote, created or produced it. They earn royalties when the music is either performed in public, or broadcast on mediums such as TV or radio. And even when it’s used in a telephone message service or played in an elevator - SAMRO makes sure that playback time is payback time.

Mechanical Rights:

‘Mechanical Rights’ is a fancy name for the royalties that composers, lyrists and music publishers earn when their music is copied and transformed into things like cassettes, CDs, DVDs, MP3s – even ringtones – for public use. In other words when it is reproduced by a device or machine. 

In the past, Mechanical Rights were managed by both SAMRO and NORM (National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music), but recently the game changed. In order to make life simpler for music creators and better serve members, SAMRO and NORM decided to work together to establish a new organisation to manage Mechanical Rights through one administrative body. Thus, CAPASSO was born – the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association. 

This new body, CAPASSO is responsible for licensing your music and collecting fees from Music Users like radio stations and advertising agencies, DJ’s and anyone who makes copies, cover versions or compilation CDs. Or when it’s made available for legal download on the internet. CAPASSO makes sure playback time is payback time for Music Creators. If you’re a music creator, please be sure to sign up as a CAPASSO member to make sure you receive the benefit of Mechanical Rights on your music.


Needletime Rights:

Needletime Rights make sure performers and Recording Artists get paid when their music is played in public. These are the people who were in the studio playing the instruments, or singing the lyrics when the recording was made.

Even if they didn’t write the song or the lyrics, their talent contributed to the final product. So they should get paid any time the song is played on the radio or anywhere else in public for that matter.

As long as they contributed to a recorded performance that was captured on CD, tape, MP3 or any other recording device, Recording Artists have Needletime Rights over that recording.