the Woodstock Police Station against the restaurant group, Life and Brand Portfolio, for failure to
pay the applicable licence fee related to music that SAMPRA manages on behalf of its members. The
group owns restaurants such as La Parada, Tiger’s Milk, Harbour House, Grand Africa, Lucky Fish
and Chips, Live Bait, The Lookout and Old Town Italy. These restaurants have been playing music
belonging to recording artists and record companies at their stores, unlawfully. They have refused
to pay the applicable licence fees that would enable them to comply with the prescribed legislative
provisions. This effectively means that the artists whose music is used by these restaurants will not
be able to earn Needletime Rights royalties even though these restaurants are making money in
their restaurants as a result of using their intellectual property.

SAMPRA, a Collective Management Organisation (CMO), administers Needletime Rights on behalf of
over 40 000 recording artists and 6 000 record companies. The licence fees that are collected by this
non-profit organisation from music users, are paid to recording artists and record companies as
Needletime Rights royalties.

“Over the past four years, we have been earnestly trying to negotiate with Life and Brand Portfolio
to pay the licence fees due as we are aware that they are using our members’ music in their
establishments. Life and Brand Portfolio is, however, adamant in their stance of using music illegally
and therefore depriving recording companies and artists of their right to earn income from their
music” said Pfanani Lishivha, CEO of SAMPRA. “We have now opened a case against Life and Brand
Portfolio for their illegal and unethical conduct as we cannot stand by and watch Life and Brand
Portfolio exploiting the works of our recording artists. We have a duty to ensure that recording
artists get what is due to them” continued Lishivha.

Royalties are an integral part of an artist’s earnings. Using intellectual property, such as music,
without permission and applicable licences is equivalent to stealing from the artists because you are
deriving value without compensating the owner of the property. Artists, like everyone else who
provides services and skills in exchange for compensation, deserve to be paid for their music. Life
and Brand Portfolio are content with seeing artists dying as paupers while their businesses thrive
from their exploitation of artists’ talents and skills.

“We have resolved that over the next few months, we will be pursuing legal action against all music
users who refuse to pay Needletime Rights licence fees. Businesses that want to benefit from the
blood, sweat and tears of artists without paying the applicable licence fees are unethical and their
directors deserve to be jailed for exploiting artists” said Lishivha.

SAMPRA has had discussions with non-compliant music users such as Food Lovers, JMVR Group,
and Andiccio, with the objective of getting them to do the right thing and get licences for their
business so they can use music legally. A list of compliant business users is available on the SAMPRA
website. Any business that uses music and does not appear on the website may be unlicensed and
benefitting from using the intellectual property of artists through music piracy because using music
illegally is piracy.

“Litigation is not our preferred approach when it comes to licensing music users. It really is a last
resort. We cannot, in good conscience, allow businesses to exploit musicians while we stand by and
watch. Musicians also have families to support and financial obligations to meet. If we do nothing,
we would have failed an extremely vulnerable group of people” said Lishivha.


SAMPRA is a non-profit organisation that was formed to administer Needletime Rights royalties on
behalf of recording artists and record companies. Over 40 000 recording artists and 6 000 record
companies are members of SAMPRA. Through the SAMPRA Development Fund, SAMPRA offers
recording artists funding for live events, music production, travel and touring, education, training,
and development. Funding is also available to cultural organisations that seek to use music to
promote heritage and cultural diversity. Bursaries are also made available for members that want
to study for formal qualifications that will enhance their skills and knowledge base.

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