Legal music sources

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 ( or by telephone (+32 (0)2 / 286 82 11).


Web radio

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 ( or by telephone (+32 (0)2 / 286 82 11).


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.


What is not allowed?

There are various streaming services that offer music legally via subscription formulas, such as Spotify, Deezer, YouTube, Aupeo, Google Play Guvera, Microsoft Xbox Music, Mixcloud, Napster, Qobuz, Soundcloud and Tidal.

However, these services are only valid for strictly private use (B2C). As a result, places accessible to the public, such as shops, restaurants, cafés, cinemas or business premises may not use the streaming services mentioned above.

The existing agreements between Sabam and these providers limit the copyright permission to personal (private) and non-commercial use by the user of the streaming service. This restriction can be found in the general terms and conditions of use of the various streaming services.

If you do use them, you will have to pay a compensation fee of € 75 (+ 6% VAT), plus report and travel costs of € 125 (+ 21% VAT). Moreover, the payment of this fee does not permit the continued commercial use of this B2C streaming service. In the event of continued use, the amount of the fee will even double.