Recorded music: Why do I have to pay twice?

Reminder: The equitable remuneration is a compulsory license that must be paid when recorded music is played on a publicly accessible location.

This remuneration exists for the public use of the music repertoire of performing artists and music producers. In other words, when a recording is made public, the law provides that a remuneration must be paid.

However, authors and composers, who entrust the management of their rights to SABAM or any other similar management company abroad, also have rights on the recorded music. That’s why you currently* have to pay twice for using recorded music:

  • One payment of the equitable remuneration, distributed as neighbouring rights to performers and producers;
  • One payment of a license to SABAM, distributed as copyrights to authors and composers.

*From January 1st, 2020, enterprises, restaurants and bars, and event organisers will be able to pay both copyrights and equitable remuneration through a unique platform for music use, called Unisono. Collecting societies PlayRight, Sabam and SIMIM have joined forces to make this a reality and will allow the music users to receive one invoice for both licences.


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