Copyright body sues ZNBC over royalties

Zambian Music Copyright Protection Society Limited has sued ZNBC in the Lusaka High Court claiming K1,242,708 as payment of royalties due.

In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High court, Tuesday, the plaintiff stated that they signed a contract with ZNBC in 1998 wherein ZNBC was granted rights and authority to broadcast all musical works registered with the plaintiff.

They stated that it was agreed between the parties that in return, ZNBC would pay royalties at the rate of three percent of the net radio airtime revenue.

“In 1998, the plaintiff and the defendant entered into a contract wherein the defendant was granted rights and authority to broadcast from the defendant’s radio and television stations all or any musical works registered with the plaintiff and included in its repertoire. It was agreed between the parties that in return, the defendant would pay royalties at the rate of three percent of the net radio airtime revenue,” read the statement of claim.

The plaintiff further stated that in 2014, a second contract was signed between the parties where ZNBC was granted a license to broadcast any musical works registered with the plaintiff.

“On July 31, 2014, a second contract was signed between the plaintiff and the defendant wherein the defendant was granted a licence to broadcast from its television stations all or any of the musical works registered with the plaintiff and included in its repertoire,” the statement of claim read further.

The plaintiff stated that it was an express term of the second contract that ZNBC would in exchange pay royalties at the rate of K60,000 per annum/channel.

The plaintiff averred that it was agreed between the parties that the annual royalties due to the plaintiff from the two contracts would be paid in the calender month of November after approval of ZNBC’s financial statements by its board.

They stated that ZNBC had breached the contracts and persistently defaulted in meeting it’s obligation to pay the royalties due.

“The plaintiff will further aver that the defendant has in breach of the contracts persistently defaulted in meeting it’s obligation to pay royalties due to the plaintiffs under the two contacts with the total royalties due now standing at K1,242,708.98 as at October 31, 2017 (up to 31 March, 2013 for radio and upto June 30, 2015 for TV),” read the statement of claim.

“The plaintiff will also aver that sometime in 2013 and 2016, the defendant undertook to settle the total debt due to the plaintiff in monthly installment payments of k100,000 but despite several reminders, the defendant has neglected to settle the amount due to the plaintiff in total disregard of its undertaking.”

The plaintiff lamented that they had suffered loss and damage and therefore claimed payment of the sum of K1,242,708.98, interest and costs.

         

Zondiwe Mbewe

About Zondiwe Mbewe

Zondiwe is a vibrant young Zambian journalist who has interest in writing political and current affairs on issues which affect every Zambians. She draws inspiration from journalists who stand for what is right and are not afraid to tell and show the truth to the people.
Email: zondiwe [at] diggers [dot] news

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