Anyone who wants to record music on audio or video media needs a licence from Sabam. This is the case when duplicating a CD or DVD, but also when copying to another medium for the purpose of distributing music to third parties.
Click here for more information about our general conditions.
The different types of licence can be found here:
Reproduction on cd
If you are thinking of producing a CD with your band yourself, or if you want to create a compilation with your favourite songs, then you need a licence from Sabam.
How much the reproduction royalties will cost depends on the number of CDs produced, the duration, selling price, etc.
Please note that conditions for “work by work” productions have changed as of 3 November 2015
1. Introducing a 15% promo discount
Henceforth all work by work productions will enjoy a 15% discount on the pressed numbers, with a maximum of 250 copies per application. This discount will be applied by Sabam; the producer must however continue to state the full circulation of the intended pressing.
E.g. calculation for 1,000 copies = 8% * selling price * 850 copies (-150 units => 1,000 * 0.15 = 150)
E.g. calculation for 3,000 copies = 8% * selling price * 2,750 copies (-250 units => 3,000 * 0.15 = 450, but max. = 250)
However the discount is only applied to the first licence application, to a new release in other words. No discount will be granted to represses.
2. Exemption of royalties for self-published productions
Self-manufactured and distributed audio media can qualify for a royalty exemption up to 1,000 copies per catalogue number if the following conditions are met:
- the author/composer owns 100% of all works that will appear on the audio medium;
- the applicant cannot be a legal person;
- the manufacturing costs are entirely borne by the author/composer;
- the works may not have been published at the time of the application;
- Sabam has no obligation to the publisher if the works are published AFTER manufacturing. The author/composer is thus directly liable to the publisher if the latter claims royalties for the pressing in question;
- the exemption only applies to authors/composers who are affiliated to Sabam;
- the application of the exemption must be explicitly requested;
- music bands may also be eligible for this exemption upon written agreement of all concerned authors/composers in the band.
Per licence application, an administrative fee of €50 (+21% VAT) is charged.
The exemption from royalties applies only for sound carriers that are officially being pressed by a duplication company. CD-R productions are not taken into account.
Still not found a press shop? Here is an overview of the press shops that have an agreement with us.
Use of music in audiovisual productions
If you are planning to make a film yourself, or a professional audiovisual production (films, reports, company films, promotion spots), you can sort out the details via e-Licensing. There are two types of rights that you have to consider in order to comply with the authors' rights. Find out more information here.
First and foremost you have to ask for permission from the publisher of the music work. These are the "synchronisation royalties" that you have to pay in order to be able to use music in a film. Sabam acts here only as an intermediary. It is ultimately the publisher who decides whether or not the work can be used and how much it is to cost. There is no minimum or maximum royalty for this.
You can also use library or stock music. For this you pay a fixed tariff per piece of music and per fraction of 30 seconds.
Another possibility is to compose the music yourself or to have it composed specially for your production. In this case you reach a direct agreement with a composer.
Finally you can always use music on which there are no longer authors' rights because it belongs to the public domain (music whose longest living author/composer has been dead for more than 70 years).
Once you have settled the synchronisation royalties, you only have to apply to Sabam for the right for duplication on a DVD.
Music services for professional use
If you are a provider of background music, e.g. for catering establishments or shops, then you need to conclude a contract with Sabam for the reproduction of the works on audio or video media.
Remember that the reproduction rights that you pay for as provider are totally separate from the performance rights that the owner pays for playing the music in his/her business.
Permanent permission (record companies)
Record companies that regularly release albums can enter into an agreement with Sabam. The advantage of this is a permanent licence that allows you to press without having to apply for a separate licence for each album.
Questions? Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org