About Us

What does BECS do?

The British Equity Collecting Society (BECS) was established in 1998 as a not-for-profit organisation run by performers for performers.  It is the only collective management organisation (CMO) in the UK to enforce Performers’ Audio-Visual rights in the UK and to collect revenue from the compulsory collective administration of statutory rights in other countries.

Performers in many countries are compensated for the use of their audiovisual work via a system of legal rights.  These rights entitle them to remuneration when their work is copied for private use, retransmitted on cable channels or publicly broadcast.   BECS negotiates agreements with the CMOs in the respective countries for a share of the revenue generated in this way for our members. 

BECS has a network of international agreements in place with CMOs in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland; and more recently in Chile, Colombia and Peru. 

We aim to continually increase our affiliated societies and bilateral agreements wherever possible to collect more for our members throughout the globe. 

We carry out our major distribution of revenue towards the middle of the year with a smaller one taking place towards the end of the year.

Meet The Team

BECS can be contacted on 020 3946 7800 or info@becs.org.uk

You can contact us directly as below:

Andy Prodger 

Chief Executive Officer

aprodger@becs.org.uk

Sarah Phipps 

Operations & Research Assistant

sarah@becs.org.uk

Tayyiba Nasser 

Chief Operations Officer & Finance Director

tnasser@becs.org.uk

Katie Stretton 

Operations & Research Assistant

katie@becs.org.uk

Who we work with

BECS actively works with the following organisations to protect and enhance the interests of audiovisual performers

AEPO ARTIS

AEPO ARTIS is a non-profit organisation representing 36 European CMO’s from 26 Countries.  Their aim is to develop, strengthen and protect performers’ rights and to highlight the contribution performers make to European Culture.

British Copyright Council

The British Copyright Council is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a forum where copyright law and related issues at UK, European and International levels.  Their aim is to provide an effective, authoritative and representative voice for the copyright community

FIA

The International Federation of Actors (FIA) is affiliated with more than 90 organisations globally.  Their aim is to promote solidarity among all member organisations fostering the exchange of resources and expertise between all affiliates.  It works primarily to improve working conditions and advance economic and social rights of performers; and also campaigns for the value of the cultural and creative sector.

Fundación AISGE

This is a not-for-profit organisation set up by the Spanish CMO, AISGE, to develop programs to assist and promote the wellbeing of audiovisual performers.

IPAT

The International Performers’ Aid Trust (IPAT) is a charity helping performers who live in poverty around the world.  So far, they have helped performers in over 20 countries. 

IPO

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.  

SCAPR

The Societies’ Council for the Collective Management of Performers’ Rights (SCAPR) is an organisation representing 59 CMOs from around the world.  They operate as an international platform for the development of practical cooperation and collaborative working between member CMO’s. Their aim is to improve how rights are managed.

WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation.  It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 192 member states.

FAQs

Do I have to pay to join BECS?

No.  There are no upfront costs or membership fees payable. The Board of BECS and the Supervisory Committee determine the administration fees charged by BECS to cover BECS’ administration costs.  These are deducted from the monies collected for distribution.

Why have I not received the BBC payment I used to get from BECS?

Up until February 2017, BECS used to administer distributions on behalf of Equity.  From that point onward, the Union are dealing with these payments directly.  If you used to receive payments from us for any of the below, you can expect to receive these directly from Equity:

 

– BBC Cable and Satellite re-transmission (BBC SCR)

– ITV Cable and Satellite re-transmission (ITV SCR)

– BBC Radio 4 Extra

– Film and Cast Album royalties

– New Media Payments (BBC, ITV, C4, BSKYB)

 

The above payments were made to performers regardless of their membership with BECS.  As we now only deal with statutory Performers’ Rights payments, you will only receive payments from us if you are registered as a member.

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I received money from BECS. Why does this come from BECS and not via my agent as usual?

We collect payments for our members’ productions shown overseas which are outside the terms of your original contract.  These payments are statutory in nature and therefore eligible to be sent directly to the performer if you have instructed us to do so.

 

– BBC Cable and Satellite re-transmission (BBC SCR)

– ITV Cable and Satellite re-transmission (ITV SCR)

– BBC Radio 4 Extra

– Film and Cast Album royalties

– New Media Payments (BBC, ITV, C4, BSKYB)

 

The above payments were made to performers regardless of their membership with BECS.  As we now only deal with statutory Performers’ Rights payments, you will only receive payments from us if you are registered as a member.

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How often does BECS send out payments?

BECS has one main distribution which takes place around the middle of the year.  Sometimes we receive some payments a little later than usual which enables us to do a second distribution towards the end of the year. 

What is the difference between BECS and PPL?

PPL deals with sound recordings while BECS deals with film and television broadcasts. If you have ever performed on a record or CD that is played in the UK or overseas, you should register with PPL. Likewise, if you have ever appeared in a TV or film production that could be shown on mainstream European television channels, you should register with BECS. You can join BECS and PPL if you have performed on both sound and audio-visual recordings.

I’ve received a payment for £125 but class 1 NI was not deducted. Why?

BECS does not make Class 1 NI deductions as the payments we make are not related to a salary.

I am a member of Equity. Do I automatically become a member of BECS?

No.  The two organisations are distinct and separate.  You will need to apply directly to join as a member of BECS.  Conversely, you do not need to be a member of Equity to become a member of BECS.

How did you know I was owed money?

We negotiate with other collecting societies to secure a share of their income for our members’ work broadcast in their countries. Most collecting societies send a list of programmes that were broadcast in their respective countries.  We sift through these lists to identify works that our members have worked in. We also work through new productions to obtain cast information for each title and enter this onto our database. We often consult production companies or refer to DVDs to ensure payments reach all those who appear on the credits.

Does BECS charge a commission?

BECS does not operate a commission structure on Performers’ Rights payments.  However, as authorised by our members, BECS deducts up to 10% of monies collected from affiliated Collecting Societies in order to cover the costs of management and administration.  This deduction is made on gross receipts prior to monies being allocated out to our 30,000+ members.

The total deductions are fully disclosed and reported annually to our membership in the Transparency Report and at the AGM.

Can I join more than one Collecting Society?

The simple answer is yes as long as your mandate to each society is limited to either different rights or different regions.  If you are a British performer, resident in the UK with much of your work in English productions, then you would be better off with BECS collecting for you with a worldwide mandate (as do the vast majority of our members) as you will benefit from better exchange rates achieved on bulk collections.  Payments will be made directly into your bank account by BACS so you do not incur hefty wire transfer fees that you would otherwise be charged should you be receiving monies from outside the UK.

I now live abroad. Can you still collect for me? Can you pay into my overseas account?

Yes.  Membership is not exclusive to British residents.  We have several hundred members who live overseas. We wire their payments in the currency of their choice to the bank of their choice.  To make wire transfers more economical, we have a minimum threshold of £50 for these.

You sent me money for work done a few years ago when I was with an old agent. Do I have to pay the agency commission on it?

If BECS sends a payment to you directly it is normally from a non-contractual source of revenue.  Payment of commission on this to an old or current agent will be determined by your contract/relationship with that agent.

Do I have to declare my payment if I am receiving benefits?

Yes.  We believe that BECS income is treated as a subsection of self-employed income. Therefore, someone in receipt of benefits may suffer a loss of those benefits as a result of receiving a payment from BECS.

News

Please Join Us at our AGM on 6th December 2019

We are pleased to advise that this year’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 6th December 2019. Event: BECS AGM 2019 Date: Friday 6th December 2019 Time: 1.30pm Place: etc.venues Conference Centre, 51-53 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8HN Notice of AGM For...

An Update on Copyright

BECS is a member of both Aepo-Artis and the British Copyright Council. Please see the documents below for more information.   CD_Vote_12 Sept 2018 FAIR INTERNET coalition statement following plenary vote on Copyright Directive

New Performers Registration Form and Membership Agreement

The BECS Supervisory Committee, which represents the interests of BECS Members and oversees the Board of Management, at its meeting held on 16th July 2018, agreed updated wording for a new registration form and Membership Agreement in order to more efficiently and...

Latest Information about Copyright

Following the vote in the European Parliament on Thursday 5th July 2018 to delay approval of their Legal Affairs Committee’s report on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, please find statements from both the Fair Internet Campaign and the British...

Training Opportunites

We now offer courses at discounted rates to BECS members.  Spanish lessons have already started and we’re gathering interest for our next one… Mind Fitness! This course will run over two weeks on June 6th and June 13th.  For more information please contact us on...

Christmas Closing

The BECS Offices will be closed from December 23rd and will open on January 3rd 2018.   Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at BECS.

Date and Venue for 2017 AGM Announced…

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 15th December 2017.  Full details about the date, time and venue are shown below:  Event:    BECS AGM 2017  Date:      Friday 15th December 2017  Time:     1.30pm  Place: NFT3...

BECS seeks nominations for Elected Directors from the membership

British Equity Collecting Society Ltd (BECS) is seeking nominations from BECS members for Directors to serve on the BECS Board from 15th December 2017 until the 2020 Annual General Meeting.   There will be three vacancies relevant to the election under the current...

We have Moved Office…

We have moved office and are settling into our new home. Here’s our new contact details 1st Floor Plouviez House 19-20 Hatton Place London EC1N 8RU info@becs.org.uk 020 3946 7800

Changes to BECS Payments

As you may be aware, Equity will be sending their own payments in future. This includes Equity Film payments, Cast Album payments, Channel 4, Sky, BBC VOD, ITV Player, and BBC and ITV Cable Re-transmission.  BECS will continue to collect Performers’ Rights payments...

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Get in Touch

+44 (0) 20 3946 7800

Plouviez House,
19-20 Hatton Place,
London EC1N 8RU