Helping hand for artists

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

A new body, Needletime rights, has been formed in a bid to end the exploitation of musicians.

The structure is part of the South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro), which protects the intellectual property of composers and authors.

It is also aimed at ensuring that composers and authors' talents are adequately credited locally and internationally for the use of their music.

With Needletime Rights on their side the lives of many performers will change.

For many years session performers were not recognised in terms of royalties. The people who benefited were composers and music publishers.

Pfanani Lishivha, general manager of Needletime, says: "Needletime will collect royalties for musicians for the public performance of recorded performances. Broadcasters and others who play recorded music in public will pay royalties."

The main objective of Needletime is to make sure performers get what they deserve. People who will benefit from this initiative include lead and backing vocalists, instrumentalists, session musicians, producers and anybody who contributes to a recording.

Artists are placed in three groups: featured performers, non-featured performers and other featured performers.

"Performers assign their Needletime Rights to Samro by signing the Samro Needle Rights Deed of Assignment," Lishivha said.

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