Background/History of IMPRA
At the dawn of our young South African democracy in 1994, after realising that the music industry like so many other local industries is infused with the legacy of apartheid’s political economy. The music industry’s sector suffered additional setbacks because indigenous culture and industry was actively supressed and distorted by the apartheid regime (MITT report 2005) The most devastating aspect of this legacy is that local music is not developing as fast as it should. 80% of music sold and consumed in South Africa is international and just a mere 20% is local.
International music in our South African market is thriving, while our local music is not keeping pace (MITT report 2005). This narrative MUST change. Since 2009 the South African music industry, under the leadership of Mr Dodo Moses Monamodi, the then Chairperson of AIRCO (Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa), in consultation with individual performers and producers representative and associations undertook to champion and lead the transformation and development of the local music industry, particularly the untransformed collecting society industry, to create economic empowerment opportunities for our local music producers and performers.
As a result IMPRA (Independent Music Performance Rights association) was born in 2014 to set a new precedence in the area of Royalties Collection and Distribution for Needle-Time, with a sharp focus in elevating the status of performers to have equal powers with producers in licencing, collecting and distribution of Needle-Time Royalties.
Mr Monamodi and his business associates, established IMPRA, which is one of the leading institutions in transforming our local music industry with a clear focus on royalties distribution to manage the advocacy, collection and distribution of Royalties is committed to ensure that’s its members and or beneficiaries receive their fair share of Royalties in South Africa and beyond. IMPRA vest in proudly South African independent record companies and performers. The unique feature of IMPRA is that its members consist of both producers and performers represented by a variety of associations.
These members would have representation at the highest level of decision making of the chamber (IMPRA). The chamber is supported by the Board of Trustees consisting of its administration (advocacy, distribution and collection), dealing with day to day business activities. IMPRA administers the Copyright Act of 1978, which are the rights of broadcasting, dessimination and conversing of sound recordings to the public, these three rights are collectively known as the “performing rights’ in sound recordings.
IMPRA a non-profit company is accredited by the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Office) as a Collecting Society with a clear mandate of Needle-Time collection and distribution. IMPRA is a Collecting Society that licenses to third parties or Users like Broadcasters (SABC)food and clothing retail stores. Furthermore IMPRA’s membership is also opened to individual players, like producers or performers, who may not necessarily belong to any formation or structure.
IMPRA as a new player and a game changer with regards to Royalty regime, is supported by the independents, performers, the South African Government in particular the Department of Sports,Arts and Culture (DSAC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Communications (DOC), and some of the regions in the Continent, like Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Nigeria. IMPRA have achieved massive strides and is in an advanced stage of processing and finalising reciprocal agreements on behalf of producers and performers from neighbouring countries, such as Botswana (COSBOTS), Namibia (NASCAM), to name a few.
IMPRA has successfully collected and distributed Needletime Royalties from SABC 2014/2015 period,continuing effecting the outstanding or backlog royalty payments of 2014/2015 as per our last notice in 2021. We have pleasure in advising that the long drawn out negotiations between the troika of parties to with the SABC SAMPRA and IMPRA have successfully concluded and resolved the issues that were a stumbling block for payment of needletime royalties post the 2014/15 payment. These culminated in the Good News of IMPRA signing of a multi-year agreement with the SABC covering payment period dating from 2014/15 up to 2020/21(A five years Needle time Agreement) now in December 2021.
Membership and Notification Administration
Membership of IMPRA is a representation of both the Performers and Producers and the spread is Countrywide, membership is recorded approximately 1,200 members, 270 in a waiting list for vetting and approval.IMPRA is also undertaking a vetting process whereby beneficiaries with dual membership between SAMPRA and IMPRA are discarded. IMPRA has achieved a dream of decentralizing the music industry as there is a substantial representation from our Provinces and including neighboring Countries.
IMPRA’s primary licensing targets are Commercial Broadcasters, the Public Broadcasters and major retailers who are utilizing IMPRA’s repertoire. Users like Foschini Group, Tsogo Sun,Checkers and other retailers IMPRA will continue to license premises that are primarily retail stores but also include restaurants, shops and stores, and a variety of other establishments. During the launch of the Needletime Distribution held on November 30th,the members of IMPRA resolved that it must develop an independent and separate wing that will be able to collect monies on behalf of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
IMPRA has formulated and published 12 tariffs for application in a variety of business operations and business establishments. There are tariffs for: Background Music-Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Coffee Shops Background Music-Shops, and Stores Buses, Trains and Taxis Background Music-Telephones Music on hold Background Music-Buses Trains and Taxis Background Music- Events, Trade Fares, Events, Conference Facilities and Functions Factories, Workshops and Offices Fitness Centres, Gymnasiums and Health Clubs Hotels and Casinos Jukeboxes Cinema and Complexes
IMPRA has established a distribution policy under the direction of a Distribution Committee comprising of technical personnel and under the guidance of our Compliance Legal Teams.
National Interest in Legislative Development of Performance Rights in South
Africa and Legislation Reform.
IMPRA made extensive and comprehensive submissions regarding legislative amendments, including requests for appropriate legislation to be introduced to the Creative Industries. Whilst noting the Administrative Role of IMPRA, IMPRA commended the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry (“PC”) for taking the long awaited steps to transform the Copyright Act and modernize the Performers Protection Act 11 of 1967 (“PPA”).
The IMPRA Chamber of Producers expressed their views as IMPRA submitted submissions and presented orally to the Parliament that IMPRA represents the masses of performers and producers that are proudly South Africa, the Public Hearings on Producers Copyright Amendment Bill was in August 2017.
IMPRA remains grateful of the support received from the Government,the CIPC as our Regulator in particular the Office of the Commissioner and the Office of Mr Petje,the DSAC the Office of the Minister Nathi Mthethwa,SABC under the leadership of Mr Mxakwe,Most importantly all our members of IMPRA at both entry level and established Artists and all our IMPRA Structures. The transformational agenda of IMPRA remains in the corridors of the people’s power,democracy and long walk to Freedom of our Local Artists,Needletime is the right established for the benefit of the Local Artists as embed in the Music Task Team (MITT) Report.