Corporate events with music: what and how much is payable in licence fees?

Christmas dinners, team events and New Years’ cocktail parties – winter is the peak season for corporate events. If music is involved, the event must be reported to SUISA and licence fees are due. 

Neither the events a company organises for its employees, nor those it organises for its customers qualify as events accessible to the public. It is often assumed, therefore, that these are private events which need not be reported to SUISA since the copyright rules for private use apply.

Not open to the public, but not private either

Music use is only considered private when it takes place within a small circle of people with close ties to each other, like relatives and close friends. This is not generally the case with corporate events. That is why, for copyright purposes, these events do not qualify as private use – a licence (permission) to use music must therefore be obtained from SUISA.

Read more on the SUISAblog

(Photo: Poznyakov /