Samro urges for the use of copyright laws in the public transport sector

Chairperson of Samro Nicholas Maweni. Picture:Instagram

Chairperson of Samro Nicholas Maweni. Picture:Instagram

Published Oct 12, 2022


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) encourages the transport sector to adhere to music copyright laws.

This means that whenever you’re using public transport and listening to the music provided in the vehicle, that specific song you’re listening to must get paid royalties.

The statement reads: “Samro calls on all public transporters including e-haling services, taxis, buses, and airlines to adhere to the copyright laws, which require them to be licensed to play music for their passengers.

“We all need to travel. We take taxis, trains, flights or e-hailing services daily to get to our desired destinations.

“And when we are travelling, there is always music being played in public transport modes.

“Music helps us relax while we pass time in transit.

“There are more than 25 000 buses, over 150 000 minibus taxi’s, 280 train sets, and numerous other forms of public transport around the country.

“All these transport businesses make use of music in their vehicles while they are working hard to help us get from A to B.

“However, we rarely think about who created the music, how much work went into creating the music, and how those music creators make a living.

“While many think that writing a song just requires an idea to be written down, producing a song takes weeks from concept to completion, and involves numerous people from composers and lyricists to publishers, promoters and distributors.

“As with the time and petrol it costs to make a journey, Samro’s members work tirelessly to provide the music that calms the nervous passenger and excites the bored commuter during their journeys.

“And through licensing music, these members can be paid royalties for their hard work.

“So, whenever an original song is broadcast, played or performed in public, including public transport, the rights holders in that work should earn royalty income”.

Nicholas Maweni, Chairperson of Samro said: “We don’t make the rules, it’s all laid out in the Copyright Act and it is part of South African law.

“As we celebrate Transport Month, it is important for all transport owners to be cognisant and to comply with the copyright laws as they relate to music and not to infringe on the rights of musicians by playing music without a license.”

Maweni says Samro aims to create awareness about the obligations of the transport sector in adhering to copyright laws as they relate to music.

He said it is Samro’s responsibility to drive compliance by ensuring that no sector is left behind.

He concludes: “As Africa’s leading Collection Management Organisation (CMO), Samro calls upon Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula to convene a Stakeholder Indaba to assist the transport sector in understanding their responsibility to copyright holders."