Mzansi artists sceptical of getting Samro royalties from TikTok, Netflix & Facebook
“The rights that they base this agreement on, are non-existent rights until such time The Copyright Act is amended to provide for them,” Eugene said, slamming the Samro deal.
Veteran kwaito artist Eugene Mthethwa is one of many South African artists who have expressed scepticism at the newly announced deal by Samro to collect royalties on behalf of its members from TikTok, Facebook and Netflix.
The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) announced earlier this week that it has started collecting royalties on behalf of its members from social media platforms and the streaming service after concluding licensing agreements with the popular digital platforms.
In a statement, Samro said this was a major step towards adapting its licensing and royalty payments to the ever-changing technological landscape.
With the #JerusalemaChallenge having blown up on Tik Tok and Facebook, Master KG is one of the SA artists who will be laughing all the way to the bank along with many others, such as Kamo Mphela and squad, whose song Amanikiniki also blew up on social media.
If executed as planned, Mzansi artists stand to benefit greatly from the deal. However, not all artist are convinced they will benefit from the deal.
Trompies' Eugene was one of the first people to vocalise his opinion that artists would most probably not benefit from the Samro deal.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, the Trompies member explained his view under minister Nathi Mthethwa's announcement tweet.
“The rights that they base this agreement on, are non-existent rights until such time as The Copyright Act is amended to provide for them. The fact that they are in the Bill does not endow them with any additional qualities to allow Samro/Capasso to purport to licence such “rights” at present.”
Eugene explained that the root of the problems artists face lie fundamentally in artist rights in SA, something the government has to intervene in to address.
Read the rest of his tweets below:
This is the old modus operandi by colonizers in order to monopolize and prevent the emerging SMEs to enter the space and therefore a political matter to be decisively debt with at such political level just UK did with SONYBMG merger. Local quota ownership to be imposed— Simply Eugene (@EugeneMt) May 5, 2021
Which law has defined arts practitioners as workers Minister?— Simply Eugene (@EugeneMt) May 4, 2021
I am going to post details on this deal on my FB page and I hope logic will apply that your communications team is not doing justice, islands research capacity which is what should be at the core before public announcements or media statements— Simply Eugene (@EugeneMt) May 5, 2021
While receiving royalties should be seen as a win for artists, the TL was split when the news broke.
Some on the social media streets took to the TL in celebration and full of hope for better days to come, while others were not convinced that the deal would actually benefit them.
Here are some reactions:
This is not progressive. AT ALL. Artists should be getting paid whenever their music plays on all digital platforms anywy. Also, SAMRO? LOL. Artists signed w SAMRO dont even get paid for radio play in SA. What guarantees are there that theyll see a cent from tiktok? 🤣 waara joke https://t.co/FZ2p7E8a1H— Carla Fonseca (@BATUKMUSICA) May 1, 2021
Well I am not sure about that, what I know is that SABC owes over 250 million in performance royalties to artists, which is supposed to be collected by SAMRO.— Thabang Ronald (@Torsion_Soul) May 6, 2021
Just finished my samro registration. Now I need my music to be played so I can get paid 🥺— Thembisile Q (@Thembisile_Q) April 30, 2021