Belgian musicians win ban on free broadcasts

Belgian musicians win ban on free broadcasts


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2020

At a time when every orchestra around the world is trying to get its music out, Belgian unions have secured a court order agains the National Orchestra of Belgium prohibiting it from showing video recordings that have not been authorized by musicians.

The broadcasting authority had offered remuneration for each broadcast, but the unions declined it as too little.

The judgement hinges on the legal definition of what constitutes ‘an audiovisual work’. Details here.



  • Thomas Silverbörg says:

    That is €600 more than I have been offered for the streaming rights to ANYTHING I was involved in as a singer…

  • Patrick says:

    Sorry but it’s absolutely not correct, you can access to the text in English on the site but here an excerpt :
    “(…) Negotiations had taken place between the orchestra management and unions over the amount of remuneration to be paid to musicians in exchange for the transfer of their exclusive rights. After the failure to reach an agreement, the ONB decided unilaterally to make several video recordings available to the public without the prior authorisation of the musicians and their unions, for a lump-sum remuneration arbitrarily fixed at €600. The court judged that this practice constituted blatantly unlawful conduct against musicians. This judgment –which is not final, since it is under appeal– sheds interesting light on the notion of audiovisual work(…)”
    The 600 euros are for a whole season not for each broadcast ! The average of the European orchestra is rather 2000€… And unfortunately the conflict dates back to before the covid era, from 3 years ago.
    The link in English :

  • John Borstlap says:

    The picture shows an example of audio-visual work, expressing contempt for conventional manners.