Under the banner UNISONO, the Belgian authors' rights group Sabam and neighbouring rights association Simim have concluded a comprehensive agreement on licenses for the use of music in companies and enterprises.

In addition, Sabam also sealed an agreement with Formaat Jeugdhuiswerk Vlaanderen on the use of music in youth clubs.

The UNISONO agreement regulates the single declaration and collection of both neighbouring and authors' rights on music used in non-public workplaces, cafeterias and canteens, company events for staff members, music on Web sites and telephone reception devices. A new Web site, launching Jan. 1, 2010, will allow single declarations for any use of music.

UNISONO was signed between Sabam, Simim and leading Belgian employers' federations, becoming effective from Oct. 1 this year. According to Christophe Depreter, recently appointed general manager at Sabam, "the agreement reflects a healthy balance between the use of music in companies and the lawful interests of authors, composers, publishers, producers and artist-performers we represent. We are proud to have contributed to the two months of negotiations preceding the innovative agreement."

A second agreement deals with music in youth clubs and on events organized by youth clubs and includes a simplified declaration procedure. Youth clubs organizing events and charging low entrance fees of up to €2.50 ($3.74) will be invited to administer these events by means of an annual rate.

Formaat Jeugdhuiswerk Vlaanderen will inform its members on the new procedures, including the obligation to inform Sabam on a monthly basis about their events, by means of an online document. The procedure will be evaluated mid-2010.

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