By Johannnes Hangula
THE Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) CEO John Max has revealed that there has been a steady decrease in royalty payments for the past three years.
For the three financial years; 2011/12, 2013/14, 2015/16, altogether NASCAM received and paid N$4 307 902.64 to its members, Max told Confidente Entertainment on Friday. He said his organisation does not only pay royalties to local members but it also pays royalties to members from its sister organisations like Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA), whose music is played in Namibia.
“Many artists don’t understand how we operate. They come to complain about the little money they receive, but the amount we collect is not up to us but up to the number of times their music has been played on radio and television,” said Max.
“The royalties we collect can be a sustainable amount, but there are people who actually do not benefit much from the collections, like the lowest we collected this time was N$7.11 but an amount of N$250 is added to each member’s payment. But when the amount is that little, we wait for royalties from other radio stations because these collections were only from the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) radio stations,” he explained further.
Max added that NASCAM is the only body in the country with the mandate to register authors of creative works, license all musical use in the country and to collect royalties or fees from those using these works.
“Other prominent responsibilities are; protecting intellectual property in Namibia and for piracy we are working with Nampol‘s unit of commercial crimes investigation, licensing new places that will be playing music of any form in Namibia,” added Max.
The royalties are divided into two categories, which are the member’s social fund, with NASCAM deducting 10 percent from the collected amount to cover emergency incidents such as death or if the person is unable to do music anymore due to injury; and then administrative fees, which is 30 percent of what has been collected, and then NASCAM distributes the reminder to artists.
Max also reveals that the total amount of royalties collected in 2015 and paid in 2016 was N$1 443 490, from Namibia Broadcasting Corporation radio alone, and the royalties distributed after deductions amount to N$909 3987 which was less compared to the previous amount of N$959 875 paid in 2015.
“When an artist dies, the family continues to benefit from the artist’s royalties. This amount is payable to their families up to 50 years”.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015