'Pay for ring tone music'

THE South African Music and Rights Organisation is determined to push for the remuneration of musicians by cellphone companies for using their songs as ring tones.

"The cellphone companies continue to disregard music creators' need to be remunerated for their contribution to the creation of monetary value that these organisations are enjoying," said Samro chief executive Nicholas Motsatse.

These are some of the lessons he took from the World Copyright Summit, which was held in Washington DC recently.

Motsatse and leading Mozambican singer and songwriter Lizha James, who is also a board member of the Mozambican Author's Society, represented Africa at the summit.

Motsatse said it was imperative that music composers and publishers benefit from the contribution their music made to the success of ring tones in the cellphone business.

"Secondly, we need to work hard with our colleagues in other areas of music rights management to achieve a single music licence for users of music. This has been Samro's view for sometime, but it was confirmed and in many ways given a new impetus at the summit," he said.

Motsatse said the conference's key message was that users of copyright music want a single music licence from rights holders and not the current fragmented system in which each bundle of rights is issued by different rights holders.

He was among 450 delegates from 53 countries who tackled the copyright issue.

They gathered under the theme "New Frontiers for Creators in the Marketplace". The summit was organised by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, which billed it as a "unique international forum to discuss the future of copyright and creative industries".

At the summit, Motsatse gave an African perspective on the role of Internet service providers and telecommunications services in the volume of uncontrolled illegal material available on the Net.

Among the key speakers at the summit was Robin Gibb, the legendary singer and songwriter from the famous Bee Gees.

Gibb is also president of the Cisac.