Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Copyright pirates?

The South African daily newspaper, the Times, reports at that the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), owes about R28 million in outstanding royalties for music videos that have been shown on its three channels. According to the report, the Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa) provided the SABC with over 12 000 music videos over the past four years, for which no payment has been received. Risa has now issued a high court summons for payment, and is also seeking to interdict the SABC from showing these videos until payment is resolved.
While the facts are (obviously) in dispute, Risa alleges that the SABC last made a payment in 2005. The SABC defence appears to be that it was not party to agreements with Risa, and that its officers did not have the authority to enter into an extension of any agreement. It does not dispute the flighting of the relevant videos.
While most of the comments on the Times story are unrepeatable, or unprintable, one person noted that it was ironic that the very entity that fought against music piracy was itself guilty. He or she should remember that, in terms of our Constitution, everyone is presumed innocent until proved otherwise!

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