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Music is available everywhere. Just think of radio, TV, music on audio and video media such as CDs or DVDs, digital music via downloads and streaming, etc.
The private use of these (legal) music sources (i.e. within the family) presents no problems.
But this doesn't mean that you can just use these music sources in your company.
An overview of the music sources that may or may not be used publicly in a company.
The use of the following permitted music programmes and service does not change the fact that you still need authorisation to share this music in public. More information on this authorisation can be found in the menu under 'Daily use'.
Radio & TV
Most radio stations and TV channels have a copyright licence that allows them to legally broadcast their (music) programmes. That is definitely the case for the Belgian stations and channels, but also for those who broadcast from abroad. If you have any doubts, however, as to whether a particular radio or TV station has a valid licence, we will be happy to help you via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone (+32 (0)2 / 286 82 11).
Various traditional radio stations and web radios offer the possibility of listening to music online via their website or to part of it via podcasts. This also no problem.
If you have any doubts, however, as to whether or not a particular web radio station is legal, we will be happy to help you via e-mail (email@example.com) or by telephone (+32 (0)2 / 286 82 11).
Streaming services for strictly private use
There are various streaming services in Belgium that offer music legally via different subscription formulas.
The existing agreements between Sabam and providers such as Spotify, Deezer, YouTube, Aupeo, Google Play, Guvera, Microsoft Xbox Music, Mixcloud, Napster, Qobuz, Soundcloud and Tidal however limit the copyright authorisation to personal (private) and non-commercial use by the subscriber of the streaming service. This limitation can be found in the general conditions of use of the various streaming services.
This means that publicly accessible places, such as shops, restaurants, bars, cinemas or business premises may not use the above-mentioned streaming services.
Are you looking for a suitable music service for your business? Then take a look at the information below on music services that specialise in music for professional purposes (B2B).
This way, you can avoid that a compensation fee of € 75 (+ 6% VAT) – plus report and travel costs of € 125 (+ 21% VAT) – is charged for continued use of one of the above-mentioned music services that are only intended for personal use. Please note that paying this fee does not allow further commercial use of this B2C streaming service. In the case of continued use, the amount of the fee will even double.
Music services for professional purposes
Music services are available specifically for catering establishments and the retail trade which offer music via an online web application. These providers have concluded an agreement with SABAM which gives them the copyright authorisation to supply music to your company.
A list of available providers with an agreement for professional use can be found here.
Audio media and downloads: original versus copy
If you have a private music collection consisting of audio media (such as vinyl, CDs or DVDs) or legal downloads, then you are permitted to use this music in your company as long as they are originals and not copies. The annual licence that you as manager pay for the public use definitely cover i.a. the use of original audio media.
The copying of original audio media and downloads, on the other hand, is permitted only for strictly private use. This is stated accordingly on a CD or in the general terms and conditions when buying a download. The public use of copies is therefore not covered by the above-mentioned annual licence.
The original download or podcast is the first recording of this download: That is on the computer or smartphone with which the purchase or download is performed. This means that the making of a copy on another computer, external hard disk, smartphone, mp3 player, USB stick, CD-R, etc. is permitted only for strictly private use.