Music Creator

ABOUT MUSIC CREATORS

Music creators are a group of people who make the amazing, moving, thoughtful, powerful works that SAMRO vigilantly administers.

A lot of people play a role in bringing great music to the public and SAMRO protects the rights of everyone involved in the creation of musical works. This includes composers, authors, lyricists and music publishers. As long as your musical works are active – which means they have been commercially recorded or performed in public, or broadcast on television or radio, you might qualify for SAMRO membership.

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    COMPOSER

    Composers make magic out of musical notes. We’re talking anything from composing music for songs to those soundtracks you hear on movies or jingles – all the way up to orchestral symphonies. If you pour your heart into writing and creating original music - you’re a composer!

    As a composer, there are a number of rights that vest within your compositions. SAMRO administers what is known as Performing Rights, and control what happens when your music is performed in public. Mechanical Rights are another form of music right that come into play when your music is reproduced. In South Africa, Mechanical Rights are administered by the Composers, Authors & Publishers Association (CAPASSO). From 2014 onward, composers need to join CAPASSO as members in order to enjoy the benefits from their Mechanical Rights.

  • SAMRO administers the music copyright related to Performing Rights and collects licence fees which are then distributed as royalties on your behalf. Which means if someone wants to use your words either to perform in public or to play or broadcast it – they need a usage licence.

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    LYRICIST / AUTHOR

    Lyrics give meaning to music. If you weave words into melodies and create lyrics that accompany music, it makes you a music author and you are entitled to be paid royalties whenever your music is used.

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    MUSIC PUBLISHER

    Music Publishers are the guys who get your musical works to the big world. This is where your works might be used in an advert, movie or as part of another recording – such as when a DJ samples a chorus line from a song. Music Publishers usually help music creators get their fair share whenever their works is used in those platforms.

    To be a SAMRO member, a publisher must have a catalogue of music works that have been commercially published or recorded. And the author/s of the music works must be members of SAMRO or one of our international partners.

HOW TO APPLY

Get started with your membership by following our step-by-step application process.

To become a SAMRO member, you need to meet certain requirements. First, you need to download a hardcopy printable forms. Your forms should be submitted along with the required documents.

MEMBERSHIP TYPES

To keep everything above board, the Board checks out the submissions of every Music Creator. We verify that your music is active and ensure that licence fees collected from those licensed platforms get to you. If you’re a music publisher, we check to see that the people you represent are also members of SAMRO or our international affiliated societies.

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As a Music Creator, you need to meet a few requirements before we can approve your membership. You need to complete a few forms and supply us with the required documents.


1

Associate Membership

1.1 Authors:

You must have completed the prescribed application form, the SAMRO Deed of Assignment, and also as have formally notified all musical works in which you have an interest on the official SAMRO Notification of Works form. Your musical work(s) should have achieved significant performances so as to accrue royalties to warrant performing right administration by SAMRO.

To become an Associate Member, you must have earned at least R100-00 (one hundred Rand) in royalties within the 3 (three) preceding years.

1.2 Publishers

You must be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (“the CIPC”). The publisher must have applied for SAMRO membership by completing the prescribed application form, and the SAMRO Deed of Assignment. Copies of the deeds of assignments between the Publisher and their authors/composers must be supplied to SAMRO. In the case of representation of foreign works, copies of the sub-publication agreements must accompany the application documentation.

To become an Associate Member, you must have earned at least R1000-00 (one thousand Rand) in royalties within the 3 (three) preceding years.

Your rights as an Associate Member:

  • You participate fully in royalty distributions;
  • You participate in GORP distributions irrespective of royalty earnings in the previous distribution;
  • You participate proportionally in GORP allocation in addition to the preallocation;
  • You will receive the SAMRO Directors and Financial reports each year as well as regular correspondence;
  • You have the right to attend and vote at General Meetings;
  • You will have one vote on a show of hands or, on a poll, one vote for every Rand of South African royalties earned attributable to works of South African origin in the immediately preceding distribution, subject to a maximum of 2% of the total votes.

2

Full Membership

For an Associate to become a Full Member, the following point system will be used:

1.1 The following point system, for the number of active years, shall be used for an associate AUTHOR member of SAMRO to become a full author member: 

  • A minimum of 5 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 10 points. 
  • A minimum of 10 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 15 points. 
  • A minimum of 15 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 20 points. 
  • A minimum of 20 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 30 points. 

1.2 The following point system, for the number of active years, shall be used for an associate PUBLISHER member of SAMRO to become a full publisher member: 

  • A minimum of 5 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 10 points. 
  • A minimum of 10 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 15 points. 
  • A minimum of 15 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 20 points. 
  • A minimum of 20 active years of membership shall qualify a member for 30 points. 

2.1 The following point system, for documented musical works, shall be used for an associate AUTHOR member of SAMRO to become a full author member: 

  • A minimum of 60 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 10 points. 
  • A minimum of 90 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 15 points. 
  • A minimum of 140 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 20 points. 
  • A minimum of 190 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 30 points. 

2.2 The following point system, for documented musical works, shall be used for an associate PUBLISHER member of SAMRO to become a full publisher member: 

  • A minimum of 700 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 10 points. 
  • A minimum of 1000 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 15 points. 
  • A minimum of 1500 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 20 points. 
  • A minimum of 2000 musical works documented with SAMRO shall qualify a member for 30 points. 

3.1 The following point system, for the average earning, shall be used for an associate AUTHOR member of SAMRO to become a full author member: 

  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 10 000 shall qualify a member for 10 points. 
  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 20 000 shall qualify a member for 20 points. 
  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 30 000 shall qualify a member for 30 points. 
  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 50 000 shall qualify a member for 40 points. 

3.2 The following point system, for the average earning, shall be used for an associate publisher member of SAMRO to become a full publisher member: 

  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 50 000 shall qualify a member for 10 points. 
  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 100 000 shall qualify a member for 20 points. 
  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 150 000 shall qualify a member for 30 points. 
  • A minimum average earning over the 3 (three) preceding years of R 250 000 shall qualify a member for 40 points.

Your rights as a Full Member:

  • You participate fully in royalty distributions;
  • You participate in GORP distributions irrespective of royalty earnings in the previous distribution;
  • You participate proportionally in GORP allocation in addition to the preallocation on a phasing-in basis;
  • You will receive our Directors and Financial reports each year as well as regular correspondence;
  • You have the right to attend and vote at the General Meeting;
  • You will have one vote on a show of hands or, on a poll one vote for every rand of South African Royalties earned attributable to works of South African origin in the immediately preceding distribution, subject to a maximum of 2% of the total votes; and
  • You are eligible to be elected as a SAMRO Board member

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

PERFORMING RIGHTS

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Performing Rights are the rights to perform music in public and is part of copyright law. The users of the musical works have to, by law, pay the creators of those musical works for the public use of their music.

Performing Rights belong to the person or people who own the music. That’s music composers, lyricists or music publishers who wrote, created or produced it.

They earn royalties when the music is either performed in public, or broadcast on mediums such as TV or radio. And even when it’s used in a telephone message service or played in an elevator - SAMRO makes sure that playback time is payback time.

MECHANICAL RIGHTS

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‘Mechanical Rights’ is a fancy name for the royalties that composers, lyrists and music publishers earn when their music is copied and transformed into things like cassettes, CDs, DVDs, MP3s – even ringtones – for public use. In other words when it is reproduced by a device or machine.

In the past, Mechanical Rights were managed by both SAMRO and NORM (National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music), but recently the game changed. In order to make life simpler for music creators and better serve members, SAMRO and NORM decided to work together to establish a new organisation to manage Mechanical Rights through one administrative body. Thus, CAPASSO was born – the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association

This new body, CAPASSO is responsible for licensing your music and collecting fees from Music Users like radio stations and advertising agencies, DJ’s and anyone who makes copies, cover versions or compilation CDs.

NEEDLETIME RIGHTS

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Needletime Rights royalties make sure performers and recording artists get paid when their music is played in public. These are the people who were in the studio playing the instruments, or singing the lyrics when the recording was made.

Even if they didn’t write the song or the lyrics, their talent contributed to the final product. So they should get paid any time the song is played on the radio or anywhere else in public for that matter.

In South Africa, Needletime Rights are administered by the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA).

FAQ

STILL CAN’T FIND THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION?

HOTLINE:

phone

086 117 2676

SEND AN EMAIL:

mail

customerservices @samro.org.za

CONTACT US

MUSIC CREATOR'S FAQ

No. Works can be notified to SAMRO as manuscripts (MS) works or unpublished. Many choral and serious music works are unpublished. If these works are recorded and there is no publisher involved, you should then consider joining a society, which will look after your mechanical royalties.

Call our hotline on +27 (0) 86 117 2676 or email customerservices@samro.org.za and they will help you get to the bottom of it.

Confirm that the date of the performances is within the period stated on the distribution statement and accompanying notes. If you are certain that there is an omission, please supply SAMRO with the title of work, name of programme, name of station, date of performance and if possible, time of performance.

Probably, yes, but it may also mean that we have not been notified of a change of address. To update your contact details and personal information, click here.

Members receive royalties every year through four main payouts: Grant of Payment, Radio and General, Television and Films, as well as Foreign Royalty distribution. Click here to view the distribution schedule.

Yes. We need a copy of the termination agreement or the termination date as specified in the original Deed of Assignment between the publisher and composer/author.

If you want to use any part of another composer or songwriter’s music you need to get permission from the copyright owner. They’ll probably want a percentage of the royalties from your work. It is a myth that you can get away with a few notes from an existing work without having to declare it. You need permission to use any and all copyrighted music in any way.

SAMRO cannot distribute royalties to non-members. In these cases, we keep these royalties until the composer or author is granted membership. Once membership is approved, these royalties are paid in a supplementary payment that usually happens in June/July each year.

Yes, contact SAMRO’s Customer Relations Department for a printout of the works.

Please send your notification forms to the SAMRO Customer Service department.

Tel: 086 117 2676 or email: customerservices@samro.org.za.

To register your music with SAMRO and start earning royalties, you must notify us of your original music by filling in a form called a Notification of Works.

You can work under a stage name if you choose and you can register as many stage names as you like.

No, SAMRO has international partner organisations that manage and collect royalties in their countries on behalf of our members. So you enjoy worldwide protection for your music with just one membership.

SAMRO pays your royalties directly into your account via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Please double check that your bank details are correct to avoid problems with payments.

No, there are no signup fees or membership fees when you become a SAMRO member.

Notification of Work forms should be completed by the creators of the original music – the composers and authors. Please include the correct title, names of all composers and authors involved and the type of music such as light/rock etc, duration of the song, names or arrangers and publisher details.