New Royal Decree of 18 October 2013 on the right to remuneration for private copying

On 24 October 2013, the new Royal Decree of 18 October 2013 on the right to remuneration for private copying was published in the Belgian Official Journal.

This royal decree repeals completely the Royal Decree of 28 March 1996, which was applicable up till now, and introduces several tariff changes to ensure Auvibel maintains his current level of perceptions. Furthermore, the scope of the remuneration for private copying is extended to new works and to new beneficiaries, more specifically the authors and publishers of literary works and works of graphic or plastic art.

A first modification concerns the products subject to the remuneration and the tariffs applied. This modification was implemented within the framework of the Royal Decree of 28 March 1996. The report to the king of this Royal Decree states that an annual evaluation of the market, as well as the categories of storage capacity, must be conducted based on the sales figures of the concerned media and devices.

Firstly, the current rates of media (i.e. USB sticks, memory cards and external hard drives) are reduced as a result of an extension of the lowest capacity bracket. Additionally a new product is introduced : the tablet. The tariff applied ranges between €1 en €3 according to the storage capacity and is very reasonable in comparison with the retail price of the product. The introduction of the tablet is meant to compensate for the decrease in perceptions associated with the sales of the products that are currently submitted and the modifications to the capacity brackets.

A comparative overview of the tariff changes can be found here.

In addition to the rate changes depicted above, the Royal Decree brings into force articles 5c and 6 to 10 of the Law of 31 December 2012 containing various provisions, in particular relating to justice. As of 1 December 2013 (date of entry into force of the Royal Decree of 18 October 2013), the authors and publishers of literary works and works of graphic or plastic art will be entitled to remuneration for private copying of their works. Until now this right was reserved for the authors/composers, performing artists and producers of phonograms and audiovisual works. The introduction of this provision is due to the alignment of the Belgian legislation with European Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and neighboring rights in the information society, although 12 years later.

The Royal Decree of 18 October 2013 introduced a last modification by inserting a new chapter on the analysis of the Belgian market. Each year, the management company and the organizations representing the persons liable for payment of the remuneration, who are represented within the Commission on private copying, will have to perform an analysis of the Belgian market.

This analysis of the Belgian market aims to :

  1. Identify the media and devices, put into circulation on national territory, which allow reproductions of works and performances on any medium other than paper or similar media, carried out within the family circle and exclusively intended for that circle;
  2. determine the number of media and devices put into circulation on national territory, as well as the average selling price per category of media and devices;
  3. evaluate whether the tariff structure of the remuneration for private copying is adapted to the technological developments on the Belgian market and how the average price per category of media and devices evolves.

After discussion of the results of this analysis, the Commission on private copying may issue an opinion on the measures to be taken. Based on this opinion, the minister responsible for copyright shall inform the Board of Ministers of the measures he intends to take.

The modifications introduced by the Royal Decree of 18 October 2013 are in no way resulting in an increase of the perceptions of Auvibel.

Although private copying remains a current and widespread phenomenon, the perceptions following these measures are not increasing. On the contrary, the extension of the scope of the remuneration to new rights holders results in a decrease of everyone’s share, without compensation.

 

18 OCTOBER 2013 - Royal Decree on the right to remuneration for private copying

 

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