THE SOUTH African Music Performance Rights Association is going to war with Power FM over royalties.

The association, which collects airplay royalties for members, is suing the Joburg-based station, owned by Given Mkhari, for almost R3 million.

The association has approached the South Gauteng High Court to grant it a R2,8 million damages order.

According to documents seen by Daily Sun, the station has been playing tracks by association members without paying royalties.

In the claim, the association refers to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal determining the formula to be used for royalties when there is no agreement.

“The plaintiff has calculated that the royalty payable by the defendant for the period from 1 May 2016 to 12 June 2020 inclusive of VAT in respect of the broadcast of the sound recordings is the amount R2 856 268.31,” the application reads.

The association acknowledges that R100 000 was paid by Power FM in 2017 for licence fees and royalties.

The association wants an interdict to stop Power FM from playing music made by members until all royalties are paid.

Its spokeswoman, Tiyani Maluleke, said they always engaged with broadcasters before resorting to court action.

“Litigation is always a measure of last resort but it is sometimes a necessary measure to ensure compliance,” she said.

She said the association’s role was to make sure royalties were paid and then allocated to artists.

“Our objective as an organisation is to ensure that recording artists get their royalties when their music is used,” she said.

“Music users who continue to use music without paying the necessary licences are effectively using music illegally and robbing recording artists and music creators of what is due to them.”

Mkhari had not responded to questions sent last Friday by the time of publication.