Dealing with Casino Music Rights in Italy

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In the exploitation of music in casino games and generally on gambling websites, it is necessary to differentiate two major music rights: the synchronization rights and also the right of creating the music available to the general public. But the scenario in Italy has another layer of complexity thanks to the role of the Italian Copyright Collecting Society or SIAE.

Let’s review the way to cope with these two rights:

Music rights exploitation in casino games in Italy

In a world where digital tools allow anyone to control and simply produce creative works, anyone can create works that will provide a completely different desiring to the first one. This can be why anyone desiring to synchronize music with the visual content of a game shall previously seek the consent of the author of the first music track.

In the gambling world, such consent is sometimes obtained by the casino game supplier, but the matter shall be carefully dealt with in the relevant contract.


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The role of SIAE and additional obligations under the Italian music law

The consent from the author of the music to its synchronization cannot sort all the problems referring to the exploitation of music rights in casino games.

Indeed, the Italian Copyright Collecting Society, SIAE, operates as an intermediary in managing the extra right of “making available the work to the public” of authors that are enrolled with the SIAE. This is often a performance right covering also the usage of music on websites, like the ones included in the Migliori Casino Online list, and applications and indeed an outsized number of our clients are chased by SIAE to receive the payment of their license fees.

If the gambling website doesn’t suit the SIAE request, the danger is that the Italian Communications Authority starts an investigation under its procedure referring to the management of online copyright breaches.

The issue is that in most cases agreements between game suppliers and operators don’t expressly address issues referring to the payment of license fees to the Italian Copyright Collecting Society. Therefore the matter is then left to the negotiation between the parties which shall also depend upon the broad wording of material possession clauses within the agreement.

The review of this issue is a crucial interest address in negotiations regarding casino games and indeed for a few of our clients, we drafted a template clause to be inserted all told their agreements concerning the Italian business.