The South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) has taken the state-owned South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to court over what it described as unpaid royalties to thousands of artistes in South Africa under the umbrella of the SAMPRA.
In a statement, SAMPRA had stated it is asking the courts to compel the SABC to pay for the use of artistes’ music. It added that failure to pay will inevitably lead to an interdict prohibiting SABC from playing tracks by SAMPRA members, which it claims forms about 90 percent of all tracks in South Africa.
SAMPRA accused the SABC of owing artistes over R250 million for the past five years. The body insisted that not paying the sum due has led to severe hardship among SAMPRA members, especially in the time of coronavirus, when gigs are few.
The court case against SABC provoked mixed reactions from social media users. While some commended SAMPRA for taking the organization to court in order to protect artistes, others wondered what SAMPRA would achieve by doing so.
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