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Management company Reprobel shifts up a gear and signs up 170,000 companies by 2023

Management company Reprobel will in the coming year remind around 170 000 companies to pay their copyright fees. It is doing this because the organisation estimates that in 2022, a sloppy €10 million in remunerations were not paid. Fees that flow directly to authors and publishers within the creative sector. CEO Jean-Paul Langhoor-Beitia explained in De Tijd that a lot of companies are unaware of the existence of such mandatory fees, and she therefore decided to frame her activities within a new campaign to get rid of ambiguities. Mr Franklin explains it for you.

What is Reprobel?

In its new campaign, Reprobel clarifies how it operates by means of, among other things, educational videos. Management company Reprobel is a company that watches over and manages (read: collects) the property rights of various copyright holders. This can involve, on the one hand, the natural person who created the literary or artistic work (i.e. the author) or the natural person or legal entity that has obtained the property rights to a copyright-protected work via an agreement (i.e. a publisher).

Although Reprobel is a private entity and not a ministry or government institution, Reprobel is licensed by the Minister of Economy, operates under the supervision of the Control Service of Management Companies and is subject to strict regulations. Thus, the Controledienst has the task of monitoring the pricing, collection and distribution rules of the remunerations collected by Reprobel. Indeed, collections must not be discriminatory and the various licence fees must be objective.

Reprobel is a copyright remuneration

The remunerations collected by Reprobel are copyright fees. Although Article XI.165, §1, paragraph 1 of the Economic Law Code ("IPR") stipulates that only the author of a literary or artistic work has the right to reproduce this work in any way or form whatsoever, directly or indirectly, temporarily or permanently, in whole or in part, Article XI.190, 5° IPR, among others, provides for an exception. According to that article, it is possible to make a copy from 'paper to paper' of a given work via a conventional photocopier without the author's consent insofar as this is done by a legal entity or a natural person in the context of its own professional activities.

As compensation for not having to seek permission from authors, authors and publishers are entitled to remuneration. For photocopies made for a purely professional purpose, authors receive a so-called "reprography remuneration", which is currently collected by Reprobel and will be distributed among all affiliated authors and publishers. Articles XI.235 CIR et seq. lay down the basic rules on the collection of this remuneration and stipulate that the remuneration must be calculated according to the number of reproductions.

For copyright acts that do not fall under a certain exception, permission must in principle be requested from the author and, in doing so, the author can decide to what extent he/she wishes to receive remuneration for them. The author can also call on Reprobel for the collection of these remunerations. In that context, Reprobel offers complementary licence products, such as the combined licence which includes both the legal remuneration and the remuneration determined by the author himself. Such a licence package ensures that the company in question does not have to check itself whether permission must be requested or a remuneration must be paid.

Conclusion: paying a Reprobel remuneration is compulsory

Companies are often unaware of the various acts of permission or remuneration that they perform and therefore often fail to ask for permission and/or pay a remuneration to the copyright holder. Management company Reprobel facilitates the collection of such remunerations, not only for the authors and publishers themselves but also for companies. The latter no longer have to check per author and per act whether permission is required and which remuneration should be paid. For this reason as well as with the intention to give the creative sector what it is entitled to, it is mandatory to pay the remuneration collected by Reprobel and recommended to check on the Reprobel website which extended licence package is suitable for your company.

Do you have questions about copyright fees? Then be sure to consult our website and do not hesitate to contact us!

Mattice De Schagt

Mr Franklin


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