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Tomorrowland reaches deal with Sabam to end long-running music royalty dispute

13:38 08/09/2022

Sabam and We Are One World, the company behind the Tomorrowland music festival in Belgium, have reached an agreement on the remuneration of artists and publishers, ending a years-long conflict over music royalties.

The dispute dates back to 2010, when Tomorrowland paid copyright society Sabam based on the sale of 8,000 tickets.

“We were surprised because we read in the media that the festival had been a great success and 120,000 tickets had been sold,” a spokesperson for Sabam later said.

Tomorrowland did not provide more information, so Sabam brought the matter before the courts.

An independent expert was appointed to inspect Tomorrowland’s accounts for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, and discovered apparent discrepancies between the festival’s accounts and reality.

Tomorrowland’s organisers finally agreed to pay Sabam part of the difference, but then in 2013 complained that the invoices were too high.

Under the new agreement between the two parties, from now on, “fingerprinting” technology will be used by the copyright company in order to recognise the festival’s music automatically.

“In this way, complete and accurate playlists will be created and royalties will be distributed more accurately,” Sabam said in a statement.

Written by Helen Lyons