Actors: understand neighbouring rights

When (musician, actor, dancer, vaudeville or circus artist) takes part in the performance of a work, and if that performance is recorded and then broadcast or copied, the artist in question is entitled to a remuneration/fee. In other words, the artist acquire a neighbouring right at the moment of the performance.

This remuneration is a compensation for the fact that once recorded, the music and audiovisual works in which you have participated as a performer can be exploited without your consent.

In Belgium, the incomes behind your neighbouring rights as an actor come from two remunerations:

  1. Private Copying,
  2. Lending right.

1- Private copying

The law authorizes the copy of music and films on devices and media such as CDs, tablets or USB sticks without the consent of authors, performers and producers being required, as long as the copy is made for private purposes.

As a compensation, the rightsholders have a right to remuneration called “remuneration for private copying”. This remuneration is debited when purchasing devices and recordable media (listed in a royal decree). It is collected by Auvibel and then distributed at one third to each collecting societies who represent:

  • The performers (PlayRight),
  • The producers,
  • The authors.

2- Remuneration for lending rights

The performers also have a remuneration for lending rights.

The principles behind this remuneration are the same as for private copying: a performer cannot prevent libraries from lending. Therefore these  institutions have to pay a similar remuneration for lending rights. This remuneration is reserved to the rightsholders, for the lent of the recordings they participated in.

Once collected, PlayRight handles the distribution the share that belongs to the performers, for one or several reference years.

The share of the remuneration for the lending rights for sound and audio-visual recordings is currently estimated at 16.5%. Auvibel is the company in charge of distributing this share of remunerations collected by Reprobel. Then Auvibel transfers one third to each collecting societies who represent:

  • The performers,
  • The producers,
  • The authors.

These are the two remunerations PlayRight currently collects and manages each year in order to distribute to them among its affiliated actors.   However, PlayRight is working to increase the scope of these remunerations and encourages, for example, the online platforms to remunerate the performers for the broadcasting of their work/recording online. More information on

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