Public libraries

A legal remuneration scheme


Public lending right remuneration is also a legal remuneration scheme. Public libraries set up or recognised by the government can therefore lend out copyright-protected works (books, periodicals, etc., as well as CDs and DVDs) to library users without each time requiring the permission of the rightholder.


They are required to pay an annual fee to Reprobel for this. The competent minister determines the rate of that fee. He did so in a Royal Decree of December 2012. Some institutions (e.g. educational and research institutions, care institutions and institutions for the deaf, blind or people with reading disabilities) are exempt from payment.


Public libraries, as part of the public sector, must also settle their photocopies (under the legal remuneration scheme) and prints/digital reuse (via an additional licence) of copyright-protected works with Reprobel. More information can be found in the ‘Private and public sector‘ section.

Calculation of the fee


The annual fee for public lending is based on the number of works in the collections of the public libraries (the lending offering) and the actual number of loans. The collection fee is a graduated scale fee (six categories), while the lending fee is a fixed amount per loan.


No payment is required for works in the library’s stock (which are not available for lending) and for works that are not or no longer protected by copyright. An extension of a loan is not considered a loan.

Declaration and payment


Declaration of the collection data is done by the Communities (Flemish Community, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles / FWB, German-speaking Community / Ostbelgien). The declaration of the lending data is done by the lending institution itself or by a government or an association of lending institutions.


The Flemish and the German-speaking Communities (for which a specific arrangement applies) pay the lending right fees in a centralised manner to Reprobel, for all public libraries falling under their jurisdiction. The FWB does not pay the fees in a centralised manner for its public libraries, which means that these institutions have to pay Reprobel individually. For centralised declaration and/or payment there are specific discounts provided for in the Royal Decree.


Communities and government institutions can also enter into an agreement (central payment) with Reprobel.


In practice, Reprobel collects the public lending fees for reference year X in the calendar year X + 2.


If you are a Community, government or public library, you will in principle be contacted directly by Reprobel in connection with your declaration for public lending rights. If this is not or no longer the case, please contact Reprobel to make sure.


For more information about this legal remuneration scheme, please contact the Reprobel Customer Helpdesk.