Music does not come for free

By Pascal SteinwachsLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Music is everywhere. It's so omnipresent that many people believe it is free. But it isn't. Or rather: it shouldn't be. Sacem is there to make sure that those who came up with the music and the corresponding lyrics get paid.

What do a concert by Einstürzende Neubauten, a ball with Käpt'n Ändä, an Ü-40 party, a club night and the Muzak (elevator music) in the supermarket, in the elevator, in the telephone queue, in the waiting room or at the hairdresser's have in common? Somehow, everything is music, and since the music and the corresponding lyrics do not just come out of the blue, but are usually written with a lot of heart and soul, these people must of course also be compensated for their creative work.

Sacem Luxembourg, whose task as a collecting society is to protect the copyrights and authors' rights of musicians, makes sure that this really happens. Anyone who wants to organise a concert or other event where music is performed in public must apply for a permit from Sacem and pay the corresponding fees. The same applies to the operators of a shop or café where music is played – in whatever form: radio, television, CD player, computer, internet … – They all have to pay royalties.

Sacem Luxembourg celebrates its 20th birthday

In Luxembourg, property rights are protected by the law of April 18, 2001 on copyright, related rights and databases. Sacem Luxembourg (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique) was founded as an independent society in November 2002, but it only began its activities in January 2003. Before the foundation of the Luxembourg society, the French Sacem represented the rights of Luxembourg authors and composers.

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