Creative Workers Union Calls For A Boycott Of SABC

Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA) is calling for a boycott of SABC over music royalty fees. The union is asking artists not to perform on the public broadcaster's shows. 

The union's call for a boycott of the SABC come as a result of lowered royalty fees and a change in payment structure following a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeals to reduce the royalty rate payable from 7% to 3%.

Why the SABC and not all channels? According to the union, the SABC as the South African public broadcaster is the biggest broadcaster in the country with the most radio stations, there for boycotting the SABC will have more impact.

The CWUSA claims that musicians are no longer getting a "reasonable royalty rate" for usage of music, and warns artists that doing live music performances on South African TV shows for instance, "exploit them".
"The broadcasters can use these live recordings as they wish and further exploit them for other commercial purposes since these live recordings remain the property of the one who commissions it - and in this case it would be the broadcasters," says CWUSA. 
"We call upon the cancellation of all set and proposed and any future live recordings including unplugged sessions," says CWUSA. 
CWUSA says the decision "worsens the much-highlighted plight of South African artists who continuously die poor regardless of their popularity". 
CWUSA says the court was "misled by the lies told by the broadcasters, including the SABC, which holds 75% of radio stations in South Africa". 
"We call upon all owners of music recordings in South Africa to withdraw their music from all broadcasters in order for the broadcasters to prove to all South Africans and the Supreme Court of Appeal that there is no correlation between music and their success".
CWUSA tells the media that South African artists, actors and musicians "continuously die poor" while the music, TV and film industry continue to experience job losses "while the SABC is willing to pay over R80 million annually for the licensing of foreign TV content like The Bold and the Beautiful".

Whether the industry will take heed of this call for boycott, remains to be seen. A lot of artists depend on these very same royalties for survival, however minuscule they may be.

The boycott will certainly require artists to make a financial sacrifice for it to have the desired outcome.

Whether the boycott will happen or have any effect on the current state of affairs in the industry is anybody's guess at the moment.

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