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Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori
Siae Official Logo
Siae Official Logo
Italy location map.svg
Zone of Influence
Formation 1882
Type Corporation
Purpose Collection and distribution of copyright royalties
Headquarters Rome, Italy
  • Viale della Letteratura, 30 Rome, Italy
Region served
Key people
Filippo Sugar (President),[1] Gaetano Blandini (Director-general)[2]
Increase 3.5mln € [3] compared to 195 million euro in revenues. [4]

SIAE (English: Italian Society of Authors and Publishers, Italian: Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori) is the Italian copyright collecting agency. Founded in 1882 in the Kingdom of Italy,[6] it is the monopolist intermediary between the authors of musical tracks and consumers, managing the economic aspects and the distribution of money from royalties of Italian-copyrighted music to authors and on their behalf.[7] In 2000s and 2010s, SIAE is known for the controversial decision to claim payment through the "Private Copy Siae Tax" for every blank CD, DVD, and HDD sold in Italy since 2001.[8] From 2013 to February 2015, the main spokesperson of the SIAE organization was the songwriter Gino Paoli, who was the president of the society.[8] The current president is Filippo Sugar, president of the music label Sugar Music Spa.


Foundation and early years: 1882–2014[edit]

The SIAE was founded by a selfmade statute[9] in Milan, Kingdom of Italy, on 23 April 1882. Among the first notably names to join the Corporation there were the Italian poet Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907) and the Italian musician Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901).[7] SIAE is ruled by the law Siae Copyright, no.633/1941 in 1941, emanated in Rome, Kingdom of Italy.

Europe Union's Law to terminate the SIAE money collecting monopoly: 2016[edit]

European Union Parlament decided that the SIAE monopoly on the preventive taxation of the storage media, TVs and smarthphones has to end by April 2016.[10]


According to a scientific study by the Istituto Bruno Leoni in 2010, SIAE's monopoly cost Italian copyright owners €13,5 millions due to SIAE's inefficiency compared to collecting societies of countries without a monopoly.[11]

In 2013 financial statements, SIAE:

  • had a loss of €27 millions, made into a profit of 1 million by financial activities;
  • levied from copyright and private copy a total of €589 millions (p. 33), of which 464 actually distributed (p. 145);
  • imposed €101 millions of fees to members (p. 61) and burnt €183 millions in costs (p. 63).[5]
  • The SIAE budget reported debts for over €900 millions that has not been distributed to the holders of rights as its object.[12]

SIAE annual financial statement for 2014 registered a profit increased by 3.5 million euro compared to 195 million euro in revenues (p.16)[13]


Preventive taxation[edit]

Since 2001, SIAE collects a private copying levy, called Equo compenso ("Fair fee"),[14] on media storage devices sold in Italy, assuming in advance that the user will store a private copy of copyright protected material. The preventive taxation is applied on photographic film, tape, VHSs, CDs, DVDs, HD DVDs, Blu ray Discs, optical disc drives, hard disk drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, personal computers, set-top boxes, digital media players, mobile phones, etc. The total amount of revenues collected is estimated by Confindustria and Assinform (Italian Tassociation of information technology) at €300 million per year.[15][16][17] Despite this, SIAE declares that it is not fully satisfied with the amount currently established by the decree as it is not totally "fair".[18]

On 27 November 2013, the Italian Minister Massimo Bray (Beni Culturali) supported the decision to establish new taxes, with revenue going to the SIAE, for certain electronic goods, such as HDTVs and PVRs. This is controversial since there is no direct connection between paying the SIAE and purchasing a new HDTV or a PVR.[8]

On 15 December 2013, it's revealed that the SIAE organization had a hand in writing the new amendment to the law resulting in increased revenues of about €150.000.000 during 2014 from the tax on smart TVs, PVRs, hard disks, blank DVDs, CDs and smartphones (all goods that are sold without media content bundled, so the ratio legis is inconsistent).[19][20]

Taxation on non-lucrative events or activities[edit]

SIAE may claim compensation for non-profit events. There have been several emblematic cases that raised criticism, for example payment requests to associations for singing traditional songs at impromptu parties,[21][22] a payment request for the rental of the score of the Italian Republic's national anthem,[23][24] a request of a flat rate payment for photocopying tasks in university libraries.[25] The claim of SIAE to request copyright compensation for educational activities has been discussed[26] in the Italian Government by the Italian senator Mauro Bulgarelli, who proposed to extend the concept of "fair use" in Italy.

Taxation on movie trailers[edit]

In October 2011, the SIAE began requiring a license fee from websites hosting movie trailers,[27][28] which had been considered "fair use" for promotional purposes. This license, starting at €1000 per year, would be required even if the trailer is embedded and resides on another site.[29] This decision raised many doubts and criticism even by well-known directors and actors[30][31][32][33][34] and caused the withdrawal of the video content on some sites.[35]


All music songwriters and composers in Italy must send a mandate document to the SIAE or s/he must be an SIAE subscriber (registration fee is €129.59 and annual fees are €151.81).[36] Authors who choose to register as associates can (with additional payment) register their works under a pseudonym or professional name. All CD Albums sold in Italy must have an adhesive label afixed directly on the CD jewel case). The mandatory fee paid to the SIAE, grants permission to musicians, bands and DJs to cover songs or play Italian copyrighted music.

Imbalances in royalty distribution and member rights[edit]

  • 65% of artists registered with the SIAE receive royalties totalling less than their registration fees.[37]
  • The influence of a vote in assembly decisions is not the same for all members, but varies according to the amount of royalties received by the member.[38][39][40]
  • SIAE plays a major role in the "Comitato consultivo permanente per il diritto d'autore" (Permanent Advisory Committee of copyright) according to rules established under the corporate law.
  • SIAE is a legal monopoly in Italy, granted by the State to perform mediation activities. The issue of the actual fairness of such a position has been repeatedly raised. Some institutions, such as the FIMI, ask for an amendment in favor of a more competitive market.

Unequal redistribution of revenues[edit]

The money the SIAE receives from the music royalties redistribution system is regulated by SIAE itself. A large part of the management rights for music tracks is entirely entrusted to the SIAE, which is also entrusted with safeguarding the interests of musicians. The phenomenon of a State granting exclusive intermediation activities to a single group that has been active since 1882, is currently happening only in Italy.[11]

In 2013, the largest portion of income (€46.000.000) was redistributed to only 146 artists. Michele Guardì, the director of Italian TV shows Uno Mattina and Domenica In broadcast by Italy's national public broadcasting company RAI (owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance) earned the majority of the SIAE income in 2013. He received even more money from the SIAE than popular Italian singers Vasco Rossi and Luciano Ligabue.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "[SIAE] Organigramma & La SIAE". 
  3. ^ Rendiconto di gestione al 31 dicembre 2014
  4. ^ SIAE bilancio 2014
  5. ^ a b Rendiconto di gestione al 31 dicembre 2013.
  6. ^ N° 633/1941 LEGGE 22 aprile 1941, n. 633
  7. ^ a b "SIAE FAQ about copyrights". 
  8. ^ a b c "Compensi SIAE: l'1,5% anche sugli Smart TV. Ed è solo l'inizio". 
  9. ^ Extract of the first SIAE statute, 1882
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Diego Menegon (19 July 2010). L'intermediazione dei diritti d'autore: Perché il monopolio è costoso e inefficiente (PDF). IBL Briefing Paper (in Italian). Istituto Bruno Leoni. 
  12. ^ Resoconto di gestione al 21 dicembre 2013
  13. ^ Resoconto di gestione al 31 dicembre 2014
  14. ^ "Decreto ministeriale 30 dicembre 2009, adottato ai sensi dell'articolo 71-septies della legge 22 aprile 1941, n. 633". 
  15. ^ Tassa su pc e telefonini per dare soldi alla SIAE from la Repubblica
  16. ^ Equo compenso. Equo? from L'espresso
  17. ^ "Equo compenso?". 
  18. ^ "Firmato il decreto per il compenso di copia privata". 
  19. ^ Sideri, Massimo (16 December 2013). "Tassa sugli smartphone, la Siae si scrive il decreto; L’obiettivo: raccogliere da 130 a 200 milioni di euro". Corriere della Sera (in Italian) (RCS MediaGroup). 
  20. ^ "La SIAE detta al Ministero nuovi compensi per 150 mln". 
  21. ^ Paolo Russo (3 September 2005). "Blitz della SIAE alla festa, multati i bimbi di Chernobyl". la Repubblica - Cronaca di Bari. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. 
  22. ^ M. F. (29 October 2009). "La SIAE batte cassa per i canti alla festa degli ultranovantenni". l'Adige. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Interrogazioni con richiesta di risposta scritta dei senatori Donatella Poretti e Marco Perduca nella seduta n. 367 del 28 aprile 2010 del Senato della Repubblica.
  24. ^ L'Italia chiamò: liberate l'inno dalla SIAE da Sky TG24 del 5 maggio 2010.
  25. ^ La tassa sulle fotocopie e il diritto allo studio from il Fatto Quotidiano of 22 September 2011.
  26. ^ "Interrogazione parlamentare". 
  27. ^ Tassa SIAE sui trailer dei film, sul web scatta la rivolta from la Repubblica of 29 October 2011.
  28. ^ La SIAE e i trailer, che brutto film from l'Espresso of 10 November 2011
  29. ^ "SIAE: Diritto d'autore anche per le musiche dei trailer". 
  30. ^ Paolo Virzì: "Iniziativa più insensata che goffa" (fonte ASCA)
  31. ^ Massimo Boldi: "Tassa ingiusta" (fonte ASCA)
  32. ^ Luca Miniero: "A me sembra una follia" (fonte ASCA)
  33. ^ Federica Lucisano: "Tassa ignobile" (fonte: ASCA)
  34. ^ Enrico Vanzina: "Norma ingiusta" (fonte ASCA)
  35. ^ Delos Books a.c.; html/php: Silvio Sosio. " rimuove i video". 
  36. ^ "table of fees for Authors". 
  37. ^ Sprechi di Stato: il caso SIAE from il Fatto Quotidiano of 30 July 2010.
  38. ^ Nuovo statuto SIAE, ora la cultura è ufficialmente in vendita from il Fatto Quotidiano of 26 November 2012.
  39. ^ Nuova SIAE: perseverare è diabolico from l'Espresso of 2 December 2012
  40. ^ "CREA contro il nuovo statuto SIAE". 
  41. ^ RobertoBosio. "Compensi Siae: Guardì guadagna più di Ligabue". economiaefinanza. 

External links[edit]