November 28, 2020

CAPASSO: Understanding Mechanical Royalties

Capasso logo
Image Credit: CAPASSO

In the previous blog post about music publishing I made reference to CAPASSO but I didn’t explain much about the organisation.

Well this is the perfect opportunity for me to do so. I’m not a CAPASSO member myself, so I did some research and hopefully after reading this you will have a better insight.

I decided to keep this short and straight to the point. So without any further delays let’s dive in.

What does CAPASSO do?

CAPASSO is the acronym for Composers, Authors and Publishers Association.

The South African licensing agency (as it is referred to) was created in 2014 and is responsible for collecting mechanical royalties for composers, songwriters and music publishers.

According to the SAMRO newsletter, the organisation was founded with the vision to create responsive and progressive mechanical rights licensing hub.

CAPASSO’s mandate is to license the reproduction and/or reformatting of musical works and to issue mechanical rights licenses, collect license fees and distribute them back to members as royalties.

This is similar to what SAMRO does, but the focus is on mechanical royalties instead.

What is a Mechanical Royalty?

Mechanical royalties are associated with music publishing and not record labels.

But before I explain to you what a mechanical royalty is, I just want to state that in one of my previous blog posts, I touched on masters in music. That article can give you an idea.

A track is divided into the composition and the recording which adds up to two copyrights.

The composition includes the music, melodies and the lyrics and is owned by the songwriters while the final master recording ownership is retained by the record company.

The music creator has to be paid a mechanical royalty each time music is reproduced.

So in simple terminology that means for every manufactured product (sold or not), stream (Spotify), digital download or ringtone the composer or songwriter is entitled to a mechanical royalty.

How to register as a CAPASSO Member

You can register with Capasso either as a music publisher or composer. First, you should visit their website and fill out the online registration form.

Capasso registration

In order to apply as a music publisher, the following is required:

Capasso music publisher registration
  • Company Name
  • Names of all the directors/members
  • Company Registration Number
  • VAT Registration Number (If applicable)
  • Physical/Postal Address
  • Mobile
  • Additional Number
  • Email Address
  • Fax Number
  • Company/Publisher Banking Details
  • A 250 ZAR Registration Fee
  • Copy of your ID Document
  • Bank Account Confirmation Letter
  • Copies of the business registration documents

For Composer membership registration, you have to provide the following information:

Capasso composer registration
  • Name and Surname
  • Stage Name
  • Twitter Handle
  • Facebook Handle
  • Your ID Number
  • Passport Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Gender
  • Home Language
  • Physical Address
  • Mobile Number
  • Additional Number
  • Your email address
  • 100 ZAR Registration fee
  • A copy of your ID
  • A bank account confirmation letter
  • Your bank account details
  • Details of Next of Kin
  • Will & testament

The application can be done online as mentioned but make sure that you have the PDF copies of all the documents required.

When your music publisher or composer application is approved you can start submitting your capasso notifications of work.


If you were totally clueless about CAPASSO as an organisation and mechanical royalties, now you know. There are other important organisations in the South African music industry that you should be affiliated with. I have included the links below.

More Resources: