The Belgian music royalty collecting agency SABAM has once again stepped up to enforce their strict copyright regime. After collecting money for fake artists and forgetting to pay out to real ones, they are now targeting truck drivers who listen to music in their cabs without an appropriate license.
truckRoyalty collection agencies are known for going to extremes to claim money on behalf of artists and music composers.
They target schools and kids’ community centers, charge charities for the singing of Christmas carols without a license, and even crash weddings if they have to.
While these copyright collectors are very strict in forcing their rules onto others, they often fail to live up to their own standards. This attitude was brilliantly exposed by the Belgian TV-show Basta who exposed local music royalty collecting agency SABAM for charging people to pay non-existent artists.
This week SABAM made the headlines once again, this time claiming money from truck drivers who listen to music in their cabs. Since a truck’s cab is a place of work the drivers are obliged to pay royalty fees, they argue. Those are simply the rules according to the copyright police, but not everyone agrees.
“It’s utter nonsense,” said Maggie De Block, member of the Belgian Parliament in a response to the claim. “The truck drivers don’t need the radio so much for playing music, but for their safety. So it is illogical that they should pay for it.”