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Public hearings on license fees and copyright royalties in the music industry

The Information Regulator (Regulator) will be conducting public hearings on allegations of refusal on access to records relating to the license fees and copyright royalties collected by Risa Audio Visual Licensing NPC from 2-3 August 2022 in Johannesburg.

This follows the Regulator receiving a complaint from Hardwick Trading (Pty) Ltd, wherein the Complainant alleged that it is entitled to payment in respect of license fees and/or copyright royalties due under a record label, and that RISA Audio Visual (RAV) has refused it access to the records relating to the payment of license fees or copyright royalties received by the RAV from broadcasters and other users for the public performance of music videos.

Historically there have been challenges in the music industry regarding governance of royalties, which subsequently led to artists being disgruntled by many issues relating to royalties owed to them. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Regulator has determined that the issue does not only affect the complainant, but also affects most musicians and other key role players in the music industry which in most instances is due to denied access to information.

The Regulator is responsible to monitor the implementation of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) by public and private bodies and on request assist any person wishing to exercise a right contemplated in the act. Therefore, it resolved that in upholding the principles of a just administrative action and open justice to hold fair public hearings. These public hearings will provide a public forum where facts on the issue of release of records relating to license fees and copyright royalties can be adduced. They will also provide the public with access and insights into the Regulator’s investigation of complaints brought to it, and encourage transparency, accountability, and effective governance in the music industry.

Members of the media are invited to the public hearings as per the details below:

Dates: 2-3 August 2022

Venue: Nelson Mandela Foundation, 107 Central St, Houghton

Estate, Johannesburg.

Time: 09h00 am

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