Dear IMPRA Member,
1. IMPRA was accredited as a collecting society for a period of 5 years in 2015. IMPRA applied for the renewal of its accreditation in May 2020 to ensure a seamless transition at the time when its accreditation would expire on 19 July 2020.
2. In the context of what we are going to tell you, it is important to mention a letter to IMPRA dated 1 June 2020 from the Commissioner of CIPC, Advocate Rory Voller, in which he alleged that IMPRA had refused in a meeting on 15 May 2020 to be audited, and cited such alleged refusal as conduct that constitutes grounds for not renewing IMPRA’s accreditation.
3. However, despite not attending the meeting in question and repeatedly being informed that what he was attributing to IMPRA’s representatives was factually incorrect, Advocate Voller continued his allegations of IMPRA’s supposed refusal to
4. IMPRA produced a transcript of the meeting (the one that Advocate Voller did not attend), that confirmed that the comments attributed to IMPRA representatives never happened and that IMPRA did not object to an audit. The person representing
CIPC at the meeting, Mr. Kadi Petje, enquired at the beginning of the meeting on 15 May 2020 whether there were any questions before the meeting proceeded. The transcript reveals that Mr. Petje objected to the questions being asked by IMPRA’s
representatives despite inviting the IMPRA representatives to ask questions. IMPRA
offered CIPC access to the recording of the meeting to verify the accuracy of the transcript. CIPC did not respond to the invitation.
5. I mention this incident to illustrate the challenges that IMPRA has experienced in trying to engage with its regulator. IMPRA’s attorney has addressed letters to Adv Voller to point out that some of the provisions of the Collecting Society Regulations that Adv Voller relied on regarding IMPRA’s alleged non-compliance, did not even exist. Despite repeatedly requesting clarification, CIPC, through the State Attorney,
only acknowledged that reference was made to non-existent provisions in the Collecting Society Regulations on Friday, 17 July 2020, for the first time – two days before IMPRA’s accreditation would lapse.
6. On 20 July 2020 IMPRA received a letter from the Commissioner of CIPC informing IMPRA that its application for renewal of its accreditation had been refused. In terms of the provisions of the Collecting Society Regulations, the Registrar must furnish IMPRA (within 30 days of 20 July 2020), with the formal reasons for CIPC’s decision not to renew IMPRA’s accreditation. The Registrar of Copyright must also
publish the fact of the non-renewal in the Government Gazette in terms of the Collecting Society Regulations. The Collecting Society Regulations provide that the
non-renewal of a collecting society (like IMPRA)’s accreditation “shall be subject to judicial review on application to the High Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division (TPD), brought within three months after publication”. (The Transvaal Provincial Division is now called the North Gauteng High Court (in Pretoria).
7. IMPRA is therefore awaiting the formal reasons for the non-renewal of its accreditation, and will then bring an application for judicial review. IMPRA has no
doubt as to its right to renewal of its accreditation.
8. IMPRA is fully prepared to take this important matter all the way to the Constitutional Court, if that is what is required to retain IMPRA’s accreditation.
9. Please address any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
July 09, 2020
May 08, 2020
May 06, 2020