Horeca and independents in class action against Sabam: “It is not fair to pay for twelve months when you are closed for three months”

Organizations want lower royalties owed, as restaurants and cafes have been forced to close for several months in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Whether an establishment closes three months or two weeks a year, the royalty due for copyright does not change. This way of proceeding, which is not new, has been accentuated by the health crisis. Indeed, today, catering establishments are forced to pay the totality of the fee due while most have been closed for several months.

“It is not fair to pay for twelve months of broadcasting when one is closed for three months”, explains lawyer Eric Jacobs, who defends the FHB.

“Our objective is to negotiate to obtain something fair. We tried to discuss amicably, but it was a failure”, specifies for his part the secretary general of the SNI Christophe Wambersie. It is the first time, he emphasizes, that an employers’ organization has embarked on a “class action” to defend the interests of the self-employed. “We want to find a reasonable and fair solution for all the independents who have suffered and who do not understand why they have to pay for music they did not broadcast.”

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