The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Kimberley, Northern Cape

Copyright Dispute Aim to Silence SAPS Kimberley Band’s National Anthem Performance on YouTube

Michael Hawthorne

NORTHERN CAPE – With a crash of a cymbal the South African Police Service (SAPS) Kimberley Band, although not directly, finds itself entangled in a copyright dispute with Japanese and Taiwanese organizations, JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Publishers, and Composers) and MUST_CS (Music Copyright Society of Taipei). The dispute centers around the band’s performance of the South African National Anthem during the unveiling of a R1 billion housing project by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Roodepan, Kimberley.

The copyright claim alleges that the SAPS Kimberley Band’s rendition of the anthem bears a striking resemblance to a work titled “南アフリカ共和国” (Republic of South Africa), owned by JASRAC and MUST_CS. The contested segment spans from 5:34 to 7:17 in the video capturing the commencement of the housing initiative.

The Kimberley Prospector, responsible for uploading the video on YouTube under the title Roodepan, Kimberley Welcomes R1 Billion Housing Initiative in Northern Cape received a notification from YouTube regarding the copyright claim. The claim, affecting the ability to monetize the video, stipulates that viewing restrictions and/or monetization remain suspended until the dispute is resolved.

The options provided by YouTube to resolve the dispute are limited, compelling uploaders to either trim the segment, replace the song, or mute the entire performance by the SAPS Kimberley Band. Additionally, disputing the claim directly with the copyright holders is presented as a fourth option. The Kimberley Prospector opted for the latter, emphasizing that the video contains non-original content in the public domain.

Confirmation from YouTube to The Kimberley Prospector acknowledges the dispute, stating, “MUST_CS and JASRAC has up to 30 days to review the information you provided and take action.” If the copyright owners agree with the dispute, they can release the claim at any time; however, if they disagree, the claim will remain active on the video.

This copyright dispute raises concerns about the potential impact on all bands or orchestras performing the South African National Anthem on YouTube. With the expiration of the dispute period in 29 days, the fate of the SAPS Kimberley Band’s rendition remains uncertain, highlighting the challenges creators face in navigating copyright claims on digital platforms.


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