What is Auvibel?
From this exception to their exclusive right it arises that authors, performing artists and producers of phonograms and audiovisual works and authors and publishers of literary and graphic or plastic works are entitled to ‘compensation for copies of their works and performances made for personal use’, i.e. private copying remuneration.
In Belgium, the legislator opted in 1994 for a system of lump-sum compensation and the federal government was given the task of determining its conditions.
On the basis of the Royal Decree of October 2, 1995 Auvibel is a non-trading company established as a limited liability cooperative (CVBA) in charge of collecting and distributing private copying remuneration. Auvibel’s mission is considered to be of general interest and is carried out under the supervision of the FPS Economy, a Federal Public Service of Belgium.
In application of the law, the list of devices and media clearly used to make copies, as well as the tariffs applicable to them, are listed in the Royal Decree of 18 October 2013. Auvibel does not set the tariffs! Auvibel only manages the collection and distribution among its members.
The remuneration for private copying is first paid by ...
manufacturers, importers or intra-EU purchasers of devices and media clearly used for private copying.
Auvibel ensures that the remuneration for private copying is distributed efficiently and quickly among its 20 members, which are all collective management organisations, each of which represents different types of rightholders. The 20 members in turn transfer the money from the private copying levy, which they have received from Auvibel, to their members, who are the final rightholders of the private copying levy.
In other words, Auvibel represents through its 20 members, thousands of authors, composers, screenwriters, directors, journalists, artists, music and film producers, musicians, actors, photographers and publishers of books, newspapers and magazines.
The private copying remuneration applies to ...
devices enabling the reproduction of protected works for private use (e.g., tablets, smartphones, digicorders)) and blank recording media onto which protected works can be copied (e.g., USB sticks, memory cards).
These products subject to the private copying levy are declared to Auvibel by manufacturers, importers or intra-EU purchasers when those media and devices are released on the market on Belgian territory.
Consultation with the government and other stakeholders...
This committee is composed of :
- a chairman, a representative of the Minister responsible for copyright
- persons designated by Auvibel
- representatives of remuneration payers (liable parties)
- representatives of distributors of media or devices, both wholesalers and retailers
- representatives of organisations representing consumers
Under a mandate agreement,
Auvibel granted an exclusive mandate to Reprobel to collect remunerations relating to the public lending right as well as remunerations for the use of works, databases and performances as illustration in education or for scientific research for the benefit of authors, performing artists and producers of sound and audiovisual works.
A 10-year wait for new tariffs
The list of devices and media subject to private copying remuneration was drawn up more than 10 years ago. In view of the technological developments of recent years, it goes without saying that this list is by no means up to date. Due to years of political inaction, political struggles and confusion, Auvibel’s collections have been in freefall since 2013, decreasing by 15% annually, which in concrete terms has already resulted in a loss of tens of millions of euros for authors, artists, producers and publishers. However, consumers have indicated in individual interviews that they are willing to contribute financially to a copying remuneration.
For years, Auvibel and its members have been calling for :
- an update of the list of devices and media subject to private copying remuneration, which needs to be carried out urgently
- a revision of outdated private copying remuneration tariffs which are not sufficient to compensate for the harm
- the Belgian State to comply with the European Directive by fulfilling its obligations in terms of fair financial compensation
Auvibel is urgently callinbf for new legislation on :
- the introduction of missing tariffs for printers, scanners and multifunctional devices
- updates to the tariffs for media and devices already subject to a remuneration but that have not been changed since 2010
- an increase in the current tariff of EUR 0 for laptops and PCs to a level corresponding to their apparent use
In addition, Auvibel wants the Belgian federal government to guarantee a private copying remuneration system based on regularly updated tariffs that will make it possible to compensate for the harm.