Questions and answers regarding your compensation for lost authors’ rights

On this page, we have gathered a series of specific questions and answers about your compensation for lost authors' rights.

Can't find the answer to your question here? Please don't hesitate to contact us at member@sabam.be. Or call: 02 286 84 84.

You can reach us every weekday from 9.30 am to 1 pm. Our staff will be happy to help you.

 

Specific questions:

 

For which years can I receive compensation for my lost authors’ rights?

You may be entitled to compensation for your lost authors’ rights spanning both COVID-19 years. In other words: for reference years 2020 and 2021.

 

What compensation does Sabam provide?

Sabam worked with the government to develop a system of 4 compensations to indemnify the damage you suffered. Depending on the compensation, we will calculate the amount for you fully automatically or on the basis of supporting documents you submit.

Automatically:

  • A compensation for cancelled/postponed concerts and theatre performances.
  • A compensation for the use of your works in catering and commercial businesses.

On the basis of supporting documents:

  • If you were not a member of Sabam in the period from 2017 to 2019, or if your works were rarely or never played during this period, we will calculate your compensation for cancelled/postponed concerts and theatre performances on request.
  • A lump-sum compensation for other projects.

 

Which compensations am I entitled to?

  • If you are registered with Sabam as a private individual or a single-member company, and your fiscal residence is registered in Belgium on 1 July 2021, you are entitled to all compensations.
  • If you are registered with Sabam as a company, and your fiscal residence is registered in Belgium on 1 July 2021, you are only entitled to a compensation for the use of your works in catering and commercial businesses.

 

I live abroad. Am I entitled to compensation?

If your fiscal residence is not registered in Belgium on 1 July 2021, you will not be able to apply for compensation for your lost authors’ rights through Sabam. This was decided by the legislator. 

Nevertheless, we want to support you in these difficult and uncertain times. Therefore, you can withdraw your available reserve in Sabam’s social fund early, through the end of this year. Read all about it and the conditions here.

 


Where and when can I submit the supporting documents for my compensations on request?

If you wish to apply for compensation on the basis of supporting documents, you will be able to submit the necessary documents via MySabam from mid-July. We like to make matters as easy as possible for you. That’s why our staff is working incredibly hard on the online tools that will make this possible for you.

We will inform you as soon as these applications are available for you to use.  

No MySabam account yet? Don’t delay! Request one now via affiliation@sabam.be.

 

How much compensation will I receive for my lost authors’ rights?

Compensation is individually calculated for each rightsholder and for each reference year. The amount you receive is the sum of your personal amounts for each compensation (there are 4 compensations in total) and will be a net amount of:

  • Minimum 150 euros per reference year;
  • Maximum 10,000 euros per reference year.

If the sum of your compensations for each reference year totals less than 150 euros, no payment will be made. 

Net amount

The net amount we pay you is your compensation after deduction of commission and contribution to the social and cultural fund (if applicable). 
Please note: Sabam is legally obliged to deduct withholding tax from this net amount. 

 

Will my lost authors’ rights be fully indemnified through these compensations?

No, the legislator has determined we are permitted to compensate 70% of your lost authors’ rights. What’s more, the following applies to each rightsholder and each reference year:

  • a minimum payment of 150 euros;
  • a maximum payment of 10,000 euros.

The maximum amount of 10,000 euros for your total compensation per reference year applies here too.

 

When will I receive my compensation?

You will receive your compensation for both reference years no later than 31 December 2021.

 

Will Sabam charge commission for the distribution of these compensations?

The legislator has decided that Sabam is permitted to apply a commission percentage of a maximum of 5% to these compensations.

Exception: the commission percentage for compensation for the use of your works in catering and commercial businesses is a maximum of 15%.

 

How does Sabam calculate my compensation for cancelled/postponed concerts and theatre performances?

We calculate your compensation on the basis of the average authors’ rights over the period of 2017-2019 for performances of your works at concerts and theatre shows in Belgium. We then compare this reference amount with the rights you received for those performances during the Covid-19 years 2020 and 2021. We compensate the difference between the two at a rate of 70%. You don’t need to do anything. The calculation is fully automatic.

If you were not yet a member of Sabam in 2017-2019, or if you were a member but your works were performed rarely or not at all, you can use supporting documents to apply for this compensation. 

Submit them by 30 September 2021 via MyCovidCompensation in MySabam. You will receive your compensation no later than 31 December 2021.

 

What is my reference amount for the 2017-2019 period used by Sabam to calculate my compensation for cancelled/postponed concerts and theatre performances?

The reference amount are the authors’ rights you received for the performance of your works in the period of 2017 to 2019. 

At present, we are still receiving late payments from the organisers of these performances. As such, we are not able to calculate your reference amount until the end of 2021.

 

Will I also receive a compensation for my cancelled/postponed concerts and theatre performances abroad? 

No, we are only permitted to compensate you for cancelled/postponed concerts and theatre performances on Belgian territory. This was decided by the legislator. 

 

How does Sabam calculate the compensation for the use of my works in hospitality and commercial businesses? 

For both Covid-19 years, this compensation is calculated on the basis of the 2020 playlists we received from radio and television stations and audio system providers.
You don’t need to do anything. The calculation is automatic. You will receive your compensation no later than 31 December 2021.

 

How does Sabam calculate my lump-sum compensation for other projects?

If you missed out on any authors’ rights that are not included in one of our other compensations, we will calculate this compensation on the basis of the supporting documents you can submit for this purpose. This compensation is capped at 500 euros.

For example, was the broadcast of one of your audiovisual productions for TV postponed, or was your film screening cancelled? Was it necessary to reschedule your album release or book presentation?

Submit your supporting documents no later than 30 September 2021 via MyCovidCompensation in MySabam. You will receive your compensation no later than 31 December 2021.

 

Does Sabam use the performance date or the authors’ rights payment date in the calculation of my compensation? 

The calculation of your compensation is based on the performance date of your works. You will receive a compensation for the performances of your works and/or other projects that had to be cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis.  

 

What supporting documents will Sabam accept for the calculation of my compensation?

We will accept a variety of supporting documents, depending on the compensation. The MyCovidCompensation application in MySabam lists the supporting documents we accept for the different performances or projects. 

 

I am member of Sabam, but do not have a MySabam account. How can I submit my supporting documents? 

You don't have a MySabam account yet? Request one now at affiliaton@sabam.be. We will then quickly provide you with the necessary information to activate your account. MySabam also allows you to get more out of your membership and makes it easier to manage your royalties. 

Are you unable to create an account? Then you can also submit your supporting documents using the following documents:

Please send the completed documents together with your supporting documents to member@sabam.be

 

I am an author, but not a member of Sabam. Am I entitled to compensation?

Yes you are! The legislator has provided for you to be able to apply for your compensation via Sabam on the basis of supporting documents. Please use the following documents: 

Please send the completed documents together with your supporting documents to compensation-non-members@sabam.be.  

 

Will I receive my compensation via Sabam if I am a member of another authors' association?

No, in that case it is best to contact the association of which you are a member. The Belgian government has distributed a total of 19 million euros among the various collective management organisations to compensate for the loss of authors' rights.