Thursday, May 15, 2014

Creative Workers Union of South Africa calls for a boycott of SABC over music royalty fees; asks artists not to perform on shows like Afro Cafe.

The Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA) is calling for a boycott of the SABC over lowered royalty fees and a change in payment structure, and is asking South African artists to no longer do any live performances on shows such as Y-Lounge or SABC2's Afro Cafe.

The CWUSA claims that musicians are no longer getting a "reasonable royalty rate" for usage of music, and warns artists that doing live music performances on South African TV shows for instance, "exploit them".

"The broadcasters can use these live recordings as they wish and further exploit them for other commercial purposes since these live recordings remain the property of the one who commissions it - and in this case it would be the broadcasters," says CWUSA.

"We call upon the cancellation of all set and proposed and any future live recordings including unplugged sessions," says CWUSA.

The CWUSA's appeal for a boycott of the SABC - since the SABC as the South African public broadcaster is the biggest broadcaster in the country with the most radio stations - follows a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeals to reduce the royalty rate payable from 7% to 3%.

CWUSA says the decision "worsens the much-highlighted plight of South African artists who continuously die poor regardless of their popularity".

CWUSA says the court was "misled by the lies told by the broadcasters, including the SABC, which holds 75% of radio stations in South Africa".

The CWUSA says South African artists, actors and musicians "continuously die poor" while the music, TV and film industry continue to experience job losses "while the SABC is willing to pay over R80 million annually for the licensing of foreign TV content like The Bold and the Beautiful".

"We call upon all owners of music recordings in South Africa to withdraw their music from all broadcasters in order for the broadcasters to prove to all South Africans and the Supreme Court of Appeal that there is no correlation between music and their success".