Who pays the remuneration for reprography?
In order to compensate for the exception for reprography, the law provides for equitable remuneration for authors and publishers. That right to remuneration comes from two sources:
- The equipment levy is collected on photocopy machines, regardless of the actual use and lifespan of the machine. The equipment levy payers are the manufacturers, importers and intracommunity purchasers of these machines.
- The operator levy is collected on the basis of the number of copies of protected works. The operator levy payers are people or organisations who make copies or make photocopy machines available to others – free of charge or for a fee. This chiefly concerns companies, associations, members of the liberal professions, independent contractors, international organisations, educational institutions, government institutions, libraries and copyshops.
These two sources compensate for the practice of copying in Belgium. The double system, partially flat-rate and partially proportionate, ensures that all categories of users contribute in an equitable way to compensating the rights holders. This remuneration for reprography is not a ‘fee’ or ‘tax’, but the contribution of royalties. After all, Reprobel is not a governmental body but a non-profit company that represents Belgian and foreign authors and publishers.