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General Guide and Suggestions for someone starting out 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:44 pm
Posts: 2
Hi all,

I found this forum after a bit of Googling.

I've been dabbling in music production as a hobby for a while, and now I'd like to get into composition professionally, but I'm not sure what requirements are needed on the business side.

Which organisation(s) should I join (which must I join to protect myself especially!) SAMRO/CAPASSO/NORM?

Is it possible to go it alone, not registering with any of the above, and what are the benefits/risks of such an approach?

Regarding licensing of compositions - which body sets the standards? I could only find a general licensing fee of R7,500 mentioned on the forum, but nothing pertaining to National/Provincial rates, or whether there's a difference in the licensing for radio/television/film/video games.

I know of a producer that makes original music for broadcast, but he's not familiar with his rights it seems since he only gets a commission fee (approx. R800) - how can I/we ensure that composers get a fair deal? And what do you do when a production company has (for whatever reason) not provided a reasonable budget for music?

I appreciate that one must charge for 1) the licensing fee, 2) costs such as studio use and materials, 3) your time, and 4) any instrumentalists/vocalists fees. Is there an invoice/quote template available, which also has a T&C's addendum?

Thanks in advance,

Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:29 pm
CASA maestro

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 428
Location: Johannesburg
Hi Adam,

Welcome to the CASA forums.

You should visit our FAQ's page:

Click on the bottom panel called "Who's who" - you'll find lots of info there, though admittedly we need to update a little….

Basically, SAMRO looks after Performance royalties. Every time one of your compositions is performed (i.e. played live, or broadcast on TV, radio etc), a royalty is payable to you. SAMRO collects from broadcasters, restaurants, cinemas - wherever music can be heard. You should definitely apply for membership of SAMRO as without them, you'd be missing out on a valuable income stream. Though you will only be accepted as a member when your music starts getting used and performed, all your works will be protected by SAMRO in terms of Copyright as long as you register the works with SAMRO.

CAPASSO is the new organisation that will administer Mechanical royalties. These are payable whenever a copy of a recording of your music is made. It will therefore be a good idea to join them too.

NORM used to also deal with Mechanical royalties, but CAPASSO has effectively taken over this function.

You should of course also join CASA! :D

The licensing fees listed on our downloads page are only recommended minimum fees, and are only applicable for music for advertising use. Usually a fee is charged for the first medium (e.g. TV) and then additional fees are charged per other medium, on an annual basis. You license the ad agency/client directly and you invoice for renewals each year. All other licensing (Mechanical) will fall under CAPASSO. You do not license for performances as this is all done by SAMRO.

Regarding "reasonable" budgets….that's a minefield. If a company has no budget, they will simply opt for Library music or royalty-free music and you're out of a job. If a client respects the value of exclusively composed music, then they will hopefully allow for this.

There is a document you can download here:
Look for [Invoice Licence Terms] at the bottom of the page.

We don't have an invoice template, but it should contain the items you mentioned. There has been discussion on these forums previously - try a search for more tips.

Hope this helps

Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:23 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:44 pm
Posts: 2
Hi Colin,

Thanks for the response and info. I've since taken a closer look at SAMRO and CAPASSO and I understand their functions better now.

I found a rates guide on the CAPASSO site, which is quite comprehensive re: licensing fees.

(Is there a setting to get email alerts for forum notifications?)


Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:26 am
CASA maestro

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 428
Location: Johannesburg
Hi Adam,

When you first start a topic (or reply to any topic) there's a checkbox under the text section:


Check the box and you'll be notified of replies.

Regards - Colin

Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:38 pm
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