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In our previous post we tried to explain what is meant by “fair remuneration”. This remuneration was established to adequately compensate artists and producers when their performance is communicated to the public or broadcasted.

Let’s see how the terms of the Belgian Copyright Act have been translated into practice.

 The functioning of the fair remuneration commission

When you type “fair remuneration commission” on Google, you come across the pages of the Belgian FPS Economy who speaks about that subject.

We learn that: “The Commission has so far taken decisions concerning the following areas: Horeca sector, the hairdressers and beauticians, the retail sector and shopping malls, the service sector, the audiovisual projection places sector, the socio-cultural sector and broadcasting. “.

You can also find the list of companies seating in the commission. For example, it says that there are five collective management organisations: SIMIM, URADEX, IMAGIA, BELGIUM and AGICOA BAVP Cable. Remember that these are societies that will benefit for their members of course, from the money of the fair remuneration.

According to their website:

SIMIM is the collecting society for music producers;

– URADEX (now PlayRight) is the collecting society of neighboring rights of performers;

IMAGIA is the management company of the rights of producers of music video;

AGICOA Europe Brussels (formerly Agicoa Belgium) is a management company whose mission is to “collect, manage and distribute royalties due for any simultaneous or delayed communication of an audiovisual work made in response to a separate distributor broadcaster, regardless of the method used by the distributor and the fact that the process involves or not the use of a technical platform “(see this document);

BAVP is the collecting society of producers of audiovisual works and films.

Other websites are especially important if you want to understand this topic:

www.requit.be: this site was made by SIMIM and Playright. You will find there a bunch of information on the subject with the different prices according to the debtors involved;

www.jutilisedelamusique.be: on this site (also created by SIMIM and Playright), you can declare and obtain information regarding the payment of equitable remuneration rights for an event or for a specific activity;

www.declarationunique.be: this website is sort of a mix between the first two and one on Unisono (see below) and is an initiative of collective management companies rights related to music: SABAM, the Simim and PlayRight. This site will interess you when you (or your business, public service or association) plan to use music wether in your professional premises or outside. You will find there a summary of information about SABAM (authorsright collective management organisation), the fair remuneration (neighboring rights) and Unisono (copyright and related rights for the use of music on the workplace rights) (see below). This website includes all the information and all prices for annual contracts for the use of music. It simulates tariffs also.

Fair compensation: how much and how?

Prices of the fair remuneration is calculated based on a number of parameters such as the nature of space (store, cultural center …), the number of square meters of space, the nature of the activity (with or without provision of drinks, with or without dance …) (see here for eight royal decrees incorporating these rates).

As the organizer of an event/activity, you have two options to pay the fair remuneration:

1. either by individual activity (temporary). If an annual agreement was concluded for the space where the activity is organized, users of this space should not pay separate compensation or make a separate declaration for their activity,

2. either by paying an annual fee for a specific space or permanent operation (eg for a youth or cultural center).

In many cases, municipalities or other players / owners already conclude annual contracts for so-called “usual places”, ie infrastructure built specifically for activities in which we use the mechanical music (communal infrastructure cultural, church halls …).

And Unisono and in all this?

Unisono is a collaboration that existed since 2009 and was established by Simim and SABAM (authors’ societies) to collect fees when music is communicated in companies, associations and public services, ie in places that are only accessible to staff and not to the public.

It is therefore a case which seems to be another case of « fair remuneration » but which is absolutely not.

In the case of Unisono, it is a collaboration between collective management organisations related to the exercise of their exclusive rights (remember the beginning of our previous post). Unisono offers the possibility to pay the authorsrights and the neighboring rights fees just at once via a global annual contract, to allow you to use music in your company, association or public service.

To be continued …

Pictures: Meeting designed by Scott Lewis & Music designed by Murali Krishna from the Noun Project – Creative Commons – Attribution (CC BY 3.0)

Axel Beelen