The Mag

As a music composer, lyricist or recording artist you should always be wary of putting your music out there before registering it or protecting it in any way. Most people make music because they love doing it for the fun, but as an artist you should always consider anything you create as a product which could essentially put food on your table.

Most artists who come to drop music off here at YFM sometimes think that because they release their music as a free download that means that they do not have to register their music at SAMRO. The fact is that, as long as you create something for commercial use – which means that your track will be performed in public, or broadcasted on TV or radio, you have to register that track.

Before you even think of registering as a SAMRO member, it’s always best to know about all the music rights which you might qualify to receive as royalties.

Performing Rights – These rights belong to the person or people who own the music. This includes everyone who wrote, created or produced the track. You earn these royalties whenever they play your music in public or broadcast it on TV or radio. You even get paid when they play your music in an elevator or if they use it as a caller tune.

Mechanical Rights – These are the royalties you get when your music is copied into CDs, DVDs and ringtones or MP3s.

Needletime Rights – These are the rights paid to all the people who were in studio playing the instruments or singing the lyrics when the track was being made.

Once you know about the music rights which could be due to you once you release music, registering as a SAMRO member is easy.

  1. Download and complete the membership form found on the SAMRO website >
  2. Complete the Notification of Works form. This form lets SAMRO know what work you’re claiming ownership of. >
  3. Complete the Deed of Assignment form >
  4. Send all of the above with a certified copy of your ID document to the SAMRO offices.
  5. NOTE: If the music you’re registering is owned by a partnership, private company or CC, you should supply SAMRO with all the relevant agreements, founding statements and articles of association.

Once you have all of the above, you can submit your forms to the SAMRO head offices at 20 De Korte Street in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. You can also send it via post to SAMRO Writer Services Department P.O Box 31609, Braamfontein, 2017.

If you have any further queries contact SAMRO directly on 011 718 8000 or email


 Tsepo Khonyane says: Very useful thread. Quick and straight to the point. Shout out to YFM!


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