Ringtone provider eXactmobile and a music rights organisation are headed for court in a multimillion-rand battle over royalties.
The National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music in Southern Africa (Norm) issued a summons against the provider in mid-August, and on Wednesday eXactmobile filed notice in the Cape High Court of its intention to defend.
Norm, an association of music publishers and composers, said in a statement that it is asking the court for an order that eXactmobile "must cease infringing the copyright of Norm's members" and pay royalties of 7,5% backdated to January 1 2006. It is also seeking R2-million in damages.
However, eXactmobile denied that it is not paying royalties for the ringtones it sells.
"There is actually a valid agreement in place between Norm and eXactmobile," said the company's chief executive, Davin Mole.
"This agreement provides the mechanical rights that we need to legally operate as a music seller," he said.
eXactmobile said it has tremendous respect for musicians and composers alike, and has no intention of avoiding the mechanical royalty payment.
full story from M&G here