Samro eases royalty claim process while enhancing transparency - TechCentral

Samro eases royalty claim process while enhancing transparency

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) has launched a new platform that grants all its members access to the undocumented list of musical works.

Prior to the launch of this platform, which is a first in Africa as no other collecting music society offers this benefit, only Samro publisher members could access the list of undocumented works.

“We are committed to improving our service offering to our members and transparency is key to achieving that. Giving all our members access to the undocumented list of works as opposed to a select few will come as good news to our composer members, who previously didn’t have access to this category of works,” said Samro CEO Mark Rosin.

Rosin said the organisation’s capacity to pay out royalties to its members depends on the quality of data given to Samro regarding the ownership of the composition of the music. “When this data cannot be adequately verified and successfully matched to its rightful owners, it gets categorised as undocumented works. It will stay as such until the requisite information is provided to legitimately process the claim. Our publisher members have always had a right to claim from this list of works, but as of 7 September 2020, we have made technical enhancements to our member portal, for access to be granted to all Samro members.”

Rosin said claims from undocumented works have been on the increase over the years and in the financial year that ended 30 June 2020, Samro paid out a total of R50-million from undocumented works, which is a record. “These figures clearly demonstrate that we are making progress in maximising value for our members, while continuing to contain operating costs in order to significantly reduce our cost-to-income ratio.”

Reason for existence

“Ensuring that the funds are properly allocated is a matter of good governance, something that our board takes very seriously. It is our responsibility to ensure that composers always receive what is due to them. This is our primary reason for existence.”

Rosin said that as Africa’s largest music collecting society, Samro is committed to transparency and will continue to advocate for honest and ethical conduct in all its affairs with its stakeholders.

“We remain resolutely committed to serving our members as best as we can. We will continue to find innovative ways to enhance our standing as an efficient and commercially viable entity, keeping our members’ interests as our core focus.”

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