Amateur theatres, school theatres

How to proceed

Application for an authorisation

Performances of a work by amateur and school theatres require the authorisation by the authors even if the admission is free. The authorisation is issued by SSA and includes foreign authors. Such authorisation is usually valid for an integral (unabridged and unaltered) performance of a work within a specific time frame and for a defined territory.
Application form for an authorisation

SSA passes the application for an authorisation to the author and suggests a remuneration in line with the basic tariff. The author is free to assert his own conditions, be it with respect to the level of the remuneration or the actual scope of of the authorisation. Translations or adaptations of a work also require an authorisation. The author may entitle SSA to grant authorisations without prior consultation.

Practical checklist
  • Check whether the work is protected under copyright or whether it is “free” (the term of protection is 70 years). If the work is “free”, i.e. in the so-called public domain, you do not have to undertake any further steps. A work may, however, be free in its original version, while translations and adaptations are protected.
  • Obtain the authorisation from the authors or the rights owners as soon as possible (3 to 6 months before rehearsals begin).
  • Provide for a sufficient term of the authorisation and make sure the territorial scope of the authorisation would thus cover any potential foreign performances.
    Indicate exactly which version of the work is used.
  • Describe any intended modifications and abridgements of the work.
  • Specify whether any other works or parts thereof shall be integrated (music, song lyrics, quotations).
Declaration of income

The relevant party in charge must declare their income by means of our form for the declaration of income within ten days after the end of the performance(s) to SSA.
SSA shall base its invoicing on this declaration of income.


In the case of tours and foreign performances it is sufficient to provide SSA with information on the venue and the date, as long as they are covered by the authorisation.Failing this, a new authorisation must be obtained. This principle shall also apply to tours abroad.

School theatres

Performances by school theatres are subject to remuneration as soon as a performance is not held strictly within the limits of an individual school class. In the case of guest performances at schools, but also in the case of performances by pupils of several grades or of the entire school the rights remuneration must be paid as soon as a work protected by copyright is performed. This shall also apply in cases of free admission.

Uses at schools are subject to a reduced tariff.

In the case of guest performances at schools, the authorisation must be obtained by the group of performers. The school organising the performance shall notify SSA of the performance in advance in order to clarify the issue of the rights remuneration for the works. In such cases, a different set of tariffs shall apply.