Namibia: NBC Owes Nascam N$1.7m in Royalties

28 November 2019

Windhoek — The Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam) has finalised all the processes pertaining to royalty payments for 2019.

The payments are made to recording artists, songwriters, composers, publishers and other copyright holders for use of their intellectual property.

However, the organisation is only waiting for the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to settle the outstanding royalties that currently stand at N$1,793, 979 in total, according to records.

Speaking to New Era's Entertainment Now!, John Max the CEO of Nascam said he hoped that NBC would do "something" in the coming days before Nascam's annual general meeting.

"Our meeting is scheduled to take place on 7 December 2019. As per the royalty statement of collections from the NBC, the total amount due to us is N$1,793, 979.00 and it will be divided as per royalty payments," he explained.

Sixty per cent of the amount will go directly to artists, songwriters as well as international members. A further 30 per cent will be used for administration costs amounting to N$538,193.70, and a further 10 per cent amounting to N$179,397.90 will go to Nascam members' social fund.

When quizzed by this reporter if the state-owned broadcaster has committed to settling the bill since it introduced austerity measures earlier in the year, Max replied: "This question cannot be entertained now, it's highly confidential and as everybody knows NBC is currently in a financial saving mode and cut its operational hours to cut costs."

Other private and commercial broadcasters such as One Africa TV, Omulunga Radio, Radio Wave and 99 FM are reportedly paying their dues to Nascam even though the amounts are not favourable.

In July this year Nascam distributed royalties from these entities.

Annual royalties are based on the number of times a song is played on-air for that year.

This year the rate paid per song played on the NBC was N$5.46.

This would mean the lowest-paid artist will receive N$5.46 for a one-off usage of his or her song and the highest-paid will receive over N$30,000.00 depending on how many times the song has enjoyed airplay.

Max encouraged radio stations to respect the usage of music by acquiring the Copyright Music Licence, pay for the licence and send their usage list of music to Nascam.

"Music was not made for free use but for someone to survive on. Therefore, Nascam is appealing to all music users in public places to apply for a licence that will allow them to make use of the music as prescribed by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act of Namibia."

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