In this blog post, we'll provide information about the SIAE music licence for weddings in Italy and answer some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the topic.
Italian law establishes that those who organise a private event, show or any entertainment where copyrighted works are performed, 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.
So how much is the SIAE licence fee likely to cost?
Generally speaking, the fee will vary depending on the type of music (e.g. if it's live music performed by a band, for example, or a DJ) and the number of guests at the event.
• For live music, where there are fewer than 200 guests, the cost is €199.
• For live music, where there are more than 200 guests, the cost is €299.
• For a DJ, karaoke, or Spotify, where there are fewer than 200 guests, the cost is €79.
• For a DJ, karaoke, or Spotify, where there are more than 200 guests, the cost is €119.
• For liturgical music in a church, with any number of guests, there is no fee.
So if your wedding includes a live band and DJ, the total cost of the SIAE licence fee would be €278 (if you have fewer than 200 guests) or €418 (if you have more than 200 guests).
The following video explains a bit more about the SIAE fee...
Payment of the license from SIAE is due for any wedding party where live or recorded music is performed. The requirement also applies to other types of private events, such as baptisms, garden parties, birthday parties and corporate events.
We've put together some helpful frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the SIAE Licence for live wedding music in Italy...
How much does the SIAE licence fee cost for weddings in Italy?
For weddings in Italy, the SIAE permit usually costs between €79 and €299. The exact cost will depend on a few factors, such as the number of guests at your event, whether you have just a DJ playing recorded music or musicians playing live music, and the area of Italy your event is taking place in. See above at the top of this article for more details.
Who is responsible for payment of the SIAE licence fee?
The general rule is that the event organiser is responsible for paying the SIAE fee. For weddings, this will usually be the couple getting married. For corporate events, it's likely to be the company. So if you're getting married in Italy and have hired a live band or DJ, you'll need to ensure you pay the SIAE fee before your wedding date.
What happens if I don't pay the SIAE tax?
SIAE inspectors will apply onerous penalties and most importantly, the arrival of the Inspectors will cause disruption to the ceremony or wedding reception, especially if the SIAE fees have not been paid beforehand. It is the Event Planner's responsibility to pay these fees.
Why does this matter?
SIAE inspectors have been known to shut down parties that don't have the relevant fees paid.
When should I pay the SIAE fee?
The SIAE fee needs to be paid before the date of the event.
Will the SIAE fee be more if I have both live music and a DJ at my wedding?
Yes, if you hire a covers band and a DJ or use a Spotify playlist at your wedding, you will need to pay the relevant SIAE licence fees that relate to both live music and DJ/Spotify (see the list above).
Where can I get help with paying the SIAE tax?
Your local wedding planner or venue can often help advise on how to pay the relevant fees. Our wedding bands also have experience of dealing with this, so feel free to ask them about it when you enquire and they will be happy to help. If you don't have a wedding planner, some of our bands are happy to apply for the SIAE licence themselves and handle the relevant paperwork, provided the client then reimburses them for the costs afterwards. This can often be done just a couple of days before the date of your wedding. Although it's not the band's responsibility to organise or pay for the SIAE permit, most will be willing to offer some support. We at FixTheMusic also have some local contacts who can often help obtain the SIAE licence for a small fee.
What happens after the event?
After the event, you will need to file what's known as the 'borderò', which is a form that lists the songs that were played at the event. You should give this to your musicians or DJ, who will need to complete a list of the pieces of music actually performed or played at the wedding. The completed form is then returned to the SIAE office. This information and the fee itself is used by the SIAE office to pay the copyright owners.
Is the fee the same for other types of events?
No. The SIAE fee varies according to the type of event. The fees indicated above relate to weddings in Italy. Fees for birthday parties and other types of events, for example, are lower compared to weddings.
Does the SIAE fee apply to music performed in church (e.g. for the wedding ceremony)?
The SIAE fee does not generally apply to music performed in church, as liturgical pieces are not protected under copyright by the SIAE.
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.
For 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 organiser 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.
— Adam is a co-founder of FixTheMusic and works on everything from copywriting and marketing to design and user experience. He studied Music at Cambridge University. Adam is a keen pianist, and also learned cello and trumpet from an early age.