Italian legislation states that those who organize a private event, show or other entertainment where copyrighted works are played, live music or recorded, should ask the Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (aka SIAE or Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) for a licence to hold this event.
Important: The client that is employing the musicians, not the musicians themselves, is in charge of administering and paying the SIAE licence fee. In Italy, there is a lot of misunderstanding on who is in charge of filling out the SIAE paperwork. The client/booker of the live music must initiate the process and make the necessary payment before your musicians or wedding planner can assist you.
What is the expected price of the SIAE license fee?
Generally speaking, the cost will vary based on the style of music (for example, whether it’s live music performed by a band or recorded music played by a DJ) and the number of attendees.
• The price is €256 for live music events with fewer than 200 guests.
• The price is €390 for live music when there are more than 200 guests.
• The price is €359.50 for a DJ, karaoke, or Spotify when there are fewer than 200 guests.
• The price is €547.50 for a DJ, karaoke, or Spotify when there are more than 200 guests.
• There is no charge for liturgical music performed in a church with whatever number of guests.
As an example, if your wedding has a live band and DJ the SIAE license fee would therefore total €359.50 (if you have fewer than 200 guests) or €547.50 (if you have more than 200 guests).
Any wedding party that includes live or recorded music must pay the SIAE license fee. Other private gatherings, like baptisms, garden parties, birthday parties, and business events, are also subject to the rule.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the SIAE Licence for live wedding music in Italy.
What is the price of the SIAE license for Italian weddings?
The SIAE permit typically costs between €256 and €547.50 for weddings in Italy. The number of guests at your event, whether you have a wedding DJ in Italy playing recorded music or live performers, and the region of Italy where your event is being held will all have an impact on the final price.
Who should pay the SIAE license fee?
Usually, the SIAE fee is owed by the event planner. In weddings, this is usually the couple getting married. For corporate events, it’s most likely to be the company. Therefore, if you’re getting married in Italy and have hired a live band or DJ, make sure you pay the SIAE fee before your wedding day.
What happens if I don’t pay the SIAE license fee?
The arrival of the Inspectors could potentially disturb the ceremony or wedding reception, especially if the SIAE costs have not been paid in advance. SIAE inspectors will also impose severe penalties. It is the Event Planner’s duty to cover these costs.
Why is this important?
SIAE inspectors have been known to stop parties and events if the necessary payments are not paid.
When should I pay the SIAE fee?
Prior to the wedding in Italy, the SIAE charge must be paid.
If I have both live music and a DJ at my wedding, will the SIAE cost increase?
Yes, you will need to pay the appropriate SIAE licence costs for both live music and DJ/Spotify if you hire both a covers band and a DJ during your wedding (see the list above).
Where can I go for assistance with the SIAE tax?
You can get advice on how to pay the necessary costs from your wedding planner or venue. Feel free to ask our wedding bands about it when you inquire; they will be pleased to help. They have expertise dealing with this as well. Some of our bands are willing to apply for the SIAE license and handle the necessary paperwork themselves if you don’t have a wedding planner, as long as the client pays them back afterwards. Usually, you may complete this just a few days before your wedding. Even while it is not the band’s obligation to plan or pay for the SIAE permit, most will be willing to provide some assistance.
What happens after the event?
You must submit the so called “borderò,” a document that lists the songs that were played during the event, once it has taken place. Give this to your musicians or DJ so they may write down a list of the songs that were actually played or performed during the wedding. After completion, the form is delivered back to the SIAE office. The SIAE office uses both this data and the actual charge to pay the copyright holders.
Are other kinds of events charged the same amount?
No. The cost of the SIAE varies depending on the kind of event. The costs listed above apply to weddings in Italy. For instance, costs for birthday celebrations and other events are cheaper than for weddings.
Does music played in churches, such as during wedding ceremonies, require payment of the SIAE fee?
Since liturgical music is not covered by the SIAE’s copyright protection, the SIAE fee normally does not apply to performances of music in churches.
Visit the official SIAE website for further details.
The crucial details are translated below.
The online portal allows you to obtain a license for a private party or wedding with the performance of pieces of music protected by the SIAE and to pay the compensation due for copyright and accessories (administrative procedural rights, any related rights and invoice VAT).
Private events mean weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, graduation parties and similar celebrations offered by individuals and reserved for invited guests only.
In the event that the music was not live but recorded, in addition to the remuneration for copyright, a fee is also due for the so-called related rights, due to the producers of the music and to the performers of the pieces.
By recorded music, we mean both playing through CD, DVD etc, and that performed by a DJ.
In order to use the online service for issuing permission and paying copyright (as well as any related rights) for private parties or events, the applicant must necessarily be both an adult (who enters their own tax code), and an occasional organizer of private events.
The payment of the copyright is due upon the issue of the permit. It will thus be possible to obtain the permit for free events quickly and easily, manage the music program in digital format and pay the amount due directly online.