Background/History of IMPRA

“At the dawn of our young South African democracy in 1994, after realising that the music industry like so many other local industries is infused with the legacy of apartheid’s political economy. The music industry’s sector suffered additional setbacks because indigenous culture and industry was actively supressed and distorted by the apartheid regime” (MITT report 2005)

“The most devastating aspect of this legacy is that local music is not developing as fast as it should. 80% of music sold and consumed in South Africa is international and just a mere 20% is local. International music in our South African market is thriving, while our local music is not keeping pace” (MITT report 2005). This narrative MUST change.

Since 2009 the South African local music industry, under the leadership of Mr Dodo Moses Monamodi, the then Chairperson of AIRCO (Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa), in consultation with individual performers, producer representatives and associations undertook to champion and lead the transformation and development of the local music industry, particularly the untransformed collecting society regime, to create economic empowerment opportunities for our local music producers and performers. As a result, IMPRA (Independent Music Performance Rights Association) was born in 2014 to set a new precedence in the area of Royalty-Collection and Distribution for both Video and Needle time, with a sharp focus in elevating the status of performers to have equal powers with producers in licencing, collecting and distribution of Needle time Royalties.

Mr Monamodi and his colleagues, business associates, established a Trust (Board of Trustees), which is one of the leading institutions in transforming our local music industry with a clear focus on licensing, royalty collection and distribution. The enduring objective is a commitment ensuring that beneficiaries receive their fair share of royalties generated in South Africa and beyond.

IMPRA is a non-profit organisation and a licensor to third parties for collection and distribution of broadcast performing rights in sound recordings. It is structured as such for accountability and proper governance. IMPRA is a mouthpiece through which the repertoire of proudly South African independent record companies and performers find expression. The unique feature of IMPRA is that its members consist of both producers and performers represented by a variety of associations. These members would have representation at the highest level of decision making of the chamber (IMPRA). The chamber is supported by the Board of Trustees consisting of its administration (advocacy, distribution and collection), dealing with day to day business activities. IMPRA administers the Copyright Act of 1978, which are the rights of broadcasting, dissemination and communication of sound recordings to the public, these three rights are collectively known as the “performing rights’ in sound recordings.

IMPRA is accredited by the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Office) as a Collecting Society with a clear mandate of Needle time collection and distribution. IMPRA is a Collecting Society that licenses the repertoire of its members to third parties or Users like Broadcasters (SABC, Urban Brew and Multi Choice).

Furthermore, IMPRA’s membership is also open to individual players, like producers or performers, who may not necessarily belong to any formation or structure.

IMPRA as a new player and a game changer with regards to Royalty regime, is supported by the independents, performers, the South African Government in particular the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Communications (DOC), and some of the Countries in the Continent, like Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Nigeria.

IMPRA has achieved massive strides and is in an advanced stage of processing and finalising reciprocal agreements on behalf of producers and performers from neighbouring countries, such as Botswana (COSBOTS), Namibia (NASCAM), to name a few.

IMPRA is currently in talks with the SABC about needle time royalty payments for the 2014-2015. The negotiations are at an advanced stage and it is an understanding of the parties that further needletime royalty payments for each successive will be made annually as and when they fall due. In furtherance of these negotiations IMPRA has received a playlist from the SABC of the songs played on its radio stations in 2014. The list has been circulated to all our members so that members can identify their songs. Identification of songs translates into payment to those members whose songs were played in the period under review. It is therefore quite imperative for members to keep updating their details as and when they change.

It is also IMPRA’s intention to, soon after payment of the 2014-15 royalty payment, open and finalise negotiations for what is termed historical payments i.e. period dating from 2006.



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