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SABAM is one of the Belgian associations of authors, composers and publishers. The acronym stands for "Société d’Auteurs Belge – Belgische Auteurs Maatschappij". Their headquarters is located at 75-77 rue d'Arlon in Brussels.

SABAM was founded in 1922 at the instigation of the composer Emiel Hullebroeck (nl) under the name NAVEA. In 1945 it changed to its current name. The SABAM a Civil Co-operative Society (CVBA) with Belgian authors, composers and publishers as members. They represent the interests of its members in the field of intellectual property rights and collect all the royalties due to its members in Belgium, and sister organizations in other countries (such as Buma/Stemra in the Netherlands), and then distributes these rights to the copyright holders.

Unlike Buma/Stemra, which is limited to music copyright, SABAM is active in all disciplines where copyrights are involved. The members of SABAM are not only composers, poets and musicians text, but also writers, poets, artists, publishers, visual artists, architects, designers, choreographers, photographers, film and television directors, etc.

SABAM also monitors the Internet to check the illegal supply of art. In 2004 SABAM filed a complaint against ISP Tiscali because of the illegal distribution of music over the Internet. A restaurant owner from Brussels was fined because he had a picture of the Atomium on his website.

In October 2007, the SABAM was investigated by a Brussels court on suspicion of falsifying financial statements, the abuse of the confidence of its members and the laundering of misappropriated funds. The investigation, which was started by a complaint by the Walloon composer Philippe Delhaye, is ongoing.

In August 2009 Google removed several music videos for Belgian artists from its video web site YouTube because of complaints made by SABAM.

In March 2012, SABAM threatened several libraries in Belgium, attempting to demand an annual fee from them for allowing volunteers to read books to small groups of children.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Harbison, Niall (2012-03-13). "Rightsholders Group to Charge Libraries for Reading Books to Kids". Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ Door: Kim Herbots. "Sabam wil geld voor voorleesuurtje in bibliotheek - Binnenland - De Morgen". Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  3. ^ Auteur: dgs (2009-04-30). "Bibliotheken moeten auteursrechten betalen voor voorleesuu... - De Standaard". Retrieved 2012-12-10. 

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