The SABC recently settled its first needle-time payment for local music it had been playing for decades. It paid out R16.5m, calculated at a 75% share of R22m, which includes licensing fees for 18 radio stations for the 2014-5 financial year. There are possibly another 15 years of overdue payments still to be made. Section 9 sound recording rights, or needle-time rights, were legislated in 2002. The South African Music Performance Rights Association was established in 2002 and accredited in 2008. It has received no needle-time payments as it has been contesting the SABC’s formulae for payments. The organisation claims it holds 93% of the needle-time rights on SABC playlists and has taken legal action against the public broadcaster. The SABC money was paid to the Independent Music Performance Rights Association, an organ of the Association of Independent Record Companies (Airco), which has no known members. The organisations were buoyed in 2016 when then SABC chief operations officer...

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