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Needletime Rights - Frequently Asked Questions


What are Needletime Rights Royalties?

Needletime Rights are Performers’ Rights. Needletime Rights royalties are royalties paid to performers/recording artists for the public performance of their recorded performances.

Who Pays Needletime Rights Licence Fees?

Broadcasters and any other licensed music user who performs recorded music in public.

Will the Introduction of Needletime Rights Affect Existing Rights?

Existing rights (Performing Rights and Mechanical Rights) will not be affected by the introduction of Needletime Rights. The Needletime Rights royalty is a new royalty whose administration is expected to improve the lives of music performers, without diminishing the status and value of existing rights.

What is the Difference Between Needletime Rights and Other Music Rights?

Performing Rights and Mechanical Rights remunerate authors, composers, and publishers for:

•the public performance of their musical works, in the case of Performing Rights; and
•the reproduction of their musical works, in the case of Mechanical Rights.
Needletime remunerates recording artists for the public performance of their recorded performances.

Who are Recording Artists?

Recording artists are lead vocalists, backing vocalists, instrumentalists (guitarists, drummers, pianists, saxophonists, violinists, keyboardists, etc), and studio producers who make a performing contribution to the recorded performance.

How Are Recording Artists Categorised for Purposes of Royalty Allocation?

Recording Artists on sound recordings are divided into three categories: Featured Performer, Non-Featured Performer, and Other Featured Performer.

A Featured Performer is an individual Performing Artist in whose name the CD was recorded, or a member of a band and who made a performing contribution to the recorded performance.

A Non-Featured Performer is a Performing Artist who has been engaged for a fixed period of time, customarily known in the industry as a session, specifically to make one or more recorded backing performances which subsequently are included in the sound recording. This includes a studio producer who makes a performing contribution to the recorded performance.

The term ‘Other Featured Performer’ is used only in exceptional circumstances, where a performer’s contribution that would otherwise fall within the Non-Featured Performer merits Featured status. Participants who may fall into this category are limited to:

  • A Lead Vocalist or instrumentalist not exclusively contracted to the commissioning record label or whose professional name appears with or is linked to the name of the Contracted Artists credited with making the recording; and
  • A performer who is entitled under the terms of a contract with the Contracted Artist to receive royalties from sales of the recording.

How do Recording Artists Notify POSA of Recorded Performance(s) in which they Participated?

A. Performers who are SAMRO members for Needletime Rights should notify POSA of all recorded performances in which they played a role, by completing the POSA Needletime Notification of Recorded Performances Form.

What Supporting Evidence is Needed to Register a Claim?

A: The following will be needed as supporting evidence to register a claim:

Non-Featured Performers

POSA requires Non-Featured Performers to produce one the following to support their claim:

  1. record/CD/tape sleeve inlay crediting performance; or
  2. contracted artist’s official website crediting performance; or
  3. official correspondence from the record company confirming instrumental or vocal contribution; or
  4. letter from fixer, studio producer or orchestral manager confirming contribution category; or
  5. signed verification from one of the featured artists or their management; or
  6. signed verification from at least two other non-featured musicians already confirmed on the recording; or
  7. in the case of a studio producer, a certification letter from one or more of the contracted featured performer(s) who performed on the recording, or the record company to which they are contracted.

Other Featured Performers

POSA requires Other Featured Performers to produce one the following to support their claim:

  1. product sleeve front cover or spine showing the performer’s name with the name of the Contracted Artist or linked thereto with the words ‘featuring’, ‘with’, ‘and’, ‘meets’, ‘versus’ or derivations thereof.
    A credit on the product sleeve naming the performer as a member of a group does not establish a valid claim to Other Featured status; or
  2. a contribution as a lead vocalist; or
  3. contract between the performer and the Contracted Artist entitling the performer to receive royalties as a singer or musician from sales of the recording; or
  4. official correspondence from the Contracted Artist or their management confirming contributing category; or
  5. a duly executed contract between the performer and other members of the group confirming contributor category.

For more information contact POSA:
Tel: +27 11 712-8000
e-mail: needletime@posatrust.org.za
Website: www.posatrust.org.za

Alternatively, be sure to visit our offices at:
20 De Korte Street
Gauteng Province.