Before we get started I wanted to answer the most common questions around SAMRO
What Is SAMRO Responsible For?
According to SAMRO, their role is to "administer Performing Rights on behalf of our members. We do so by licensing music users (such as television and radio broadcasters, live music venues, retailers, restaurants, promoters and shopping centres), through the collection of licence fees which are then distributed as royalties."
What Forms Do I Need To Fill Out?
Here is the link to all forms associated with being a music creator.
Email your forms to firstname.lastname@example.org
How Do I Register A Song With SAMRO?
Click on the link below and follow the steps to become a member as a music creator. You will then be able to register your songs on the SAMRO portal.
Alternatively, I found this YouTube breakdown very useful.
How Much Does It Cost To Register A song at SAMRO?
There are no fees paid from creators to SAMRO. This includes membership fees. - So it's free:)
Creators Guide To SAMRO
SAMRO registers according to two main groups, namely; Music Creators and Music Users. For this article, I will be focusing on Music Creators.
Types of Music Creators:
What Is A Composer?
According to SAMRO, a composer can be defined as a person who "makes magic out of musical notes. We're talking anything from composing music for songs to those soundtracks you hear on movies or jingles."
What Rights DO Composers Have?
According to SAMRO, "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. ‘Mechanical Rights’ is a fancy name for the royalties that composers, lyrists and music publishers earn when their music is copied and transformed". It should be noted that Mechanical Rights are administered by the Composers, Authors & Publishers Association (CAPASSO).
According to SAMRO, "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."
These are related to when your music is performed. So if someone wants to use your music then they will need to pay for a usage license and SAMRO will collect royalties on your behalf.
Lyricists are the second type of creators that SAMRO recognises. These are people who write in any capacity and they are also referred to as music authors.
What Rights Do Lyricists Have?
Lyricists are entitled to performance rights.
How To Become A Member?
Creators will have to apply to be what is called an 'associated member'. The link to apply is below.
Below are the rights an associate member is entitled to according to SAMRO.
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.
If you're still a bit confused, SAMRO has a great YouTube Channel that explains other frequently asked questions.
How Does SAMRO Distribute Royalties?
How To Apply For SAMRO Membership?
How Does SAMRO Licensing Work?