International operation

International operation

 

Works by Belgian authors and publishers are of course also photocopied, printed, and digitally reused and distributed abroad. The same applies to works by foreign authors and publishers on Belgian territory. Reprobel and similar foreign collective management organisations therefore wish to reciprocally represent each other in their respective territories and exchange remunerations for the (re)use of works from their repertoire.

 

To this end, Reprobel has concluded more than 35 ‘representation agreements’ with foreign collective management organisations. An updated list of these agreements can be found here.

 

Most of the representation agreements of the classic A type (with reciprocal exchange of remunerations) relate to fees in the private and public sectors and in the education and scientific research sector. A smaller number of representation agreements relate to public lending rights. Some member collective management organisations of Reprobel have individual mandate agreements with foreign partner companies for specific categories of works or media or for specific uses.

 

As a general rule, mandates under international representation agreements are delineated along the limits of the national remuneration schemes or licences (i.e. photocopies and prints for the private and public sectors and, from 2020 onwards, gradually also for digital re-use; photocopies, prints, scans, digital copies and communication over a secure network for the education and scientific research sector). You can find the repertoire of the foreign partner organisations and any use restrictions or exclusions (‘opt-outs’) on their websites.

 

Reprobel generally concludes type B representation agreements with partner organisations in countries whose repertoire is seldom used in Belgium or which are still in a start-up phase. This means that each collective management organisations may withhold and distribute to its own rightholders the remunerations it collects on its own territory for the foreign rightholders concerned. In this case, the fees are usually so limited that an actual exchange of funds is administratively too burdensome.

 

In the context of its representation agreements, Reprobel usually guarantees the ‘national treatment’ of foreign rightholders. This means that it treats those rightholders as if they were Belgian rightholders. This principle is in any case guaranteed to rightholders in another EU country. For most countries outside the EU (under the Berne Convention) this also applies to authors, but not necessarily to publishers. Where national treatment does not apply, ‘reciprocity’ applies and foreign rightholders only receive the rights of Belgian rightholders to the extent that those rights are also guaranteed to Belgian rightholders in that particular country.

 

Reprobel has specific distribution rules for each mode of exploitation for remunerations from or to foreign countries. These are part of its organic documents.

 

Reprobel is an active member of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), based in Brussels.