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Intellectual Property Policy in the Pipeline

May 27, 2013

Department of Trade and Industry

A draft intellectual property policy is due to be tabled before cabinet during the first quarter of 2013 for approval.

The trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, made this known during a written reply to a parliamentary question.

The question had focused on whether the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) has been ensuring that artists receive royalties due to them whenever their music is played on the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The minister referred to the Copyright Review Commission (CRC) set up in November 2010 to “assess concerns and allegations about the collecting societies model that is in place for the distribution of royalties to musicians and composers of music”.

The CRC released its report in September last year.

A number of recommendations were made:

• Collecting societies such as SAMRO should improve their corporate governance;
• Collection and distribution of the royalties should happen in accordance with the rules of corporate governance;
• Collecting societies such as SAMRO should only retain 20% of the collected monies and distribute the remainder (80%) to musicians. This is in accordance with international standards;
• Monies or royalties owed should be paid without delay.

The minister added that the plan was to incorporate the recommendations into amendments to the Copyright Act.

This would take place once cabinet has approved the draft intellectual property policy.