Collective Rights Management refers to the management of copyright on a collective basis. Organisations, usually known as collecting societies, are granted by rightsholders (whether by way of agency mandate or assignment of rights) the right to license the use of copyright-protected works on a collective basis (i.e. the user has access to all the works controlled by the collecting society by virtue of the one licence). The benefit of collective rights management is that it significantly reduces the administrative burden for both rightsholders and users that is associated with direct licensing.

In South Africa, the following collecting societies exist:

  • CAPASSO (Composers, Authors and Publishers Association)

    CAPASSO, operating on an agency basis, is the mechanical rights collecting society in South Africa and licenses this right in the musical work. Before its incorporation, SAMRO and NORM were involved in the licensing of mechanical rights in the South African territory but both of these organisations have since pulled out of the business of licensing mechanical rights. SAMRO’s primary focus is now on its performing rights operations and NORM now operates as a music publishers’ association, concerned with industry matters affected music publishers.

  • SAMRO (Southern African Music Rights Organisation)

    SAMRO licenses the public performance right in a musical work and is the biggest collecting society on the African continent. SAMRO is a member of The International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC).

  • SAMPRA (South African Music Performance Rights Association)

    SAMPRA is the collecting society of copyright owners of music sound recordings and is the accredited society to license users for Needletime Rights and distribute royalties to member of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).

  • POSA (Performers Organisation of South Africa)

    POSA is a Trust established to administer Needletime Rights on behalf of recording artists/musicians who have assigned their Needletime Rights to SAMRO. SAMRO is the collecting society accredited to distribute Needletime royalties to recording artists.