What is Auvibel?
Auvibel is the management organisation that collects and redistributes the private copying remuneration in Belgium to the rights holders (within the cultural and creative sector).
We make copies of things we love for ourselves every day, often without even realising it. From downloading and listening to your favourite song on your smartphone, watching a film on your tablet, reading interesting articles on your reader, enjoying your favourite artwork and copying to your personal usb or hard disk. All with the help of different devices and media, providing you with the ability to make copies all day long, and giving you access to your personal dose of culture and creativity as such.
What is the private copying renumeration?
Legal framework: exception to the exclusive right
To copy those works, you normally always need the permission of the creator or rights holder. This is because authors of literary or artistic works have the exclusive right to copy or permit copying of their creations in any way or form (Book XI “Intellectual Property” of the Economic Code Law).
Yet there is one important exception to that exclusive right. Rights holders cannot legally oppose the copying of their works and performances that are done for private purposes only. This applies to authors, performers, publishers and producers of phonograms or the first recordings of films and to authors and publishers of literary works and works of visual or graphic art.
Because of this exception, right holders are entitled to a compensation, an equitable remuneration “for the private copying of their works and performances”. This is the “private copying remuneration“.
So the private copying exception serves an important double purpose. It gives you, as a consumer, the freedom to make copies for your own use of all your favourite content (*that you have legally obtained), as well as ensuring at the same time that the rights holders receive a compensation with the private copying remuneration.
What role does Auvibel play?
Auvibel is the central link between private copying and remuneration, between consumer, liable party/ies and rightholder(s), between creating and copying, inspiration and experience.
In 1994, a legal framework for private copying was developed in Belgium. A system of lump-sum compensation was chosen, with a predetermined amount as equitable compensation for the rights holders. The conditions for the collection, distribution and monitoring of that compensation were developped by the federal government.
On the basis of a Royal Decree of 2 October 1995, Auvibel was officially appointed as the management organisation responsible for the collection and distribution of the private copying remuneration.
Royal Decree: devices, media and tariffs
The list of devices and media used to make copies, and the tariffs applicable to them, are set by royal decree, in application of the law. So Auvibel does not set the tariffs itself! As a collecting society, we only ensure the collection and distribution between our members, within the framework of our legal mission.
Since 1 April 2022, a new list of devices, media and tariffs has been published in the Royal Decree of 18 February 2022, adapted to the new technological reality.
As a management company, our mission is clear. Auvibel’s mission is to collect the legal private copying remuneration from the liable parties, and then distribute it to the rights holders through our member management companies. As a central link, Auvibel plays a crucial role in supporting the creative and cultural sectors in Belgium. Auvibel thus forms the bridge between private copying and remuneration, between private use and cultural sector, between consumers, liable parties and rightholder(s), between (re)creation and copying.
As part of our mission, we at Auvibel also continuously monitor developments in the technological field and the actual copying behaviour of Belgian consumers to ensure a correct collection and distribution.
The private copying renumeration applies to …
- devices which allow copying for personal use (e.g. computers, tablets, smartphones, digicorders)
- media on which protected works can be copied (e.g. USB sticks, memory cards).
The liable parties declare the products to which the remuneration applies to Auvibel. This is done on the date they are being launched on the market on Belgian territory.
Who pays the private copying renumeration?
The private copying remuneration is primarily paid by the liable parties; who are the manufacturers, importers or intra-EU purchasers of the devices or media that allow you to make a private copy, e.g. a smartphone, hard disk, e-reader, etc. (full list can be found here). Online shops who offer such devices and media are also obliged to pay the private copying renumeration.
The paid remuneration is then passed on to the end user/consumer along with the goods. As a small percentage, the private copying renumeration is therefore part of the total cost price of the device or the media.
The private copying remuneration for smartphones is set at € 4. Based on the average cost of a smartphone (data by GfK), the remuneration you pay for copying the works for yourself is only 0.77% of the total cost of your product.
How is the remuneration distributed?
After its collection, Auvibel ensures that the remuneration is distributed efficiently and quickly to its 20 member management companies, each representing a different group of rights holders. The member management organisations then pass on the private copying remuneration received from Auvibel to their members.
In other words, through its 20 member companies, Auvibel represents thousands of authors, screenwriters, directors, journalists, artists, music and film producers, musicians, actors, photographers and publishers of books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Thanks to the private copy remuneration, they receive compensation for the private use of their works through Auvibel. So they can continue to create, and you can continue to enjoy all that, right at your fingertips. Auvibel thus plays an important role in supporting the Belgian cultural and creative sectors.
Read more about the distribution here.
Advice and consultation
Consultation with the government and all affected groups is done through a private copying advisory committee, set up through the Ministry of Economy.
This advisory committee is composed of:
- a chairman, a representative of the minister responsible for copyright;
- persons designated by Auvibel;
- representatives of renumeration payers (liable parties);
- representatives of the distributors (wholesale and retail) of media or devices;
- representatives of organisations that represent consumers
Public lending right, education and scientific research.
For the works of authors, performing artists, producers of sound works and audiovisual works, Auvibel has given an exclusive mandate to Reprobel to collect the remunerations concerning public lending right and remunerations for the use of works, databases and performances for illustration in education or for scientific research.