Neighbouring rights of performers

When a performer / performing artist (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 fee. In other words, the artist acquire a neighbouring right at the moment of the performance.

The law has introduced a number of criteria to determine whether your performance is regarded as the achievement of a performer. The work must be eligible for copyright and it must be performed through: 

  • song
  • recital
  • declamation
  • staging
  • presentation
  • dance or
  • play.
Neighbouring rights

Whichever way you perform the work, your contribution will be deemed to be an artistic performance once it meets any one of the above criteria.

Not all artistic performances qualify.

  • The services of a sculptor for instance, even though undeniably artistic, are not eligible as they are not associated with the performance of a work but with its creation.
  • Likewise, the services furnished by an artistic producer or a studio engineer are also disqualified because they are linked to the recording of the performance and do not form part of the performance itself.
  • The services provided by additional artists (camera crew, extras, etc….) are not covered by the legal concept of “performance of a performing artist” either.
  • Sport performances or informative services as provided by presenters or newsreaders are not protected by neighbouring rights either.
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