The distributable income collected by BECS for the use of members’ audio-visual fixations differs from one country to another based on the rights available in each country.
The main rights types BECS collects internationally are:
The private copying levy is a form of reimbursement for the general public’s statutory right to copy music, film and TV for their own private use from an original lawful version. The levy must be paid by the sector that imports, manufactures and sells products that can be used for private copying. Over the years, the usage has changed from copying to cassettes, CDs and DVDs to devices with in-built storage e.g. computers, tablets, hard disk drives, video players and set-top boxes.
Public Performance / Communication to the Public
Public Performance refers to the use of audio-visual works in public places e.g. restaurants, hotels and other businesses.
This operates in a similar way to lending, but the user renting the fixation will pay a fee to the rental company or outlet.
Cable retransmission means simultaneous, unaltered retransmission of a primary broadcast intended for reception by the public in a closed cable network system by a party other than the primary broadcasting organisation.
This refers to the right that allows right holders to receive payment from government to compensate for the free loan of their copyrighted works by educational establishments, libraries or archives.
The ‘making available’ right is an exclusive right for performers to authorise or prohibit the dissemination of their through interactive networks such as the internet. It is often referred to the “on-demand use”.
If the monies we receive are not pre-allocated to our members by the payee collecting society,
BECS will use the most appropriate in-house distribution rule taking into account rules applicable in different territories to allocate monies to respective rightsholders.
We consider several factors when determining how money should be shared between programmes and films, and subsequently performers. To determine who is owed what payment within a production, we analyse and grade cast lists according to credits and importance of role to the storyline.
The following are rules and policies currently applicable on distributable income:
BECS endeavours to ensure that all qualifying performers are included on cast lists and that performers are allocated the appropriate grade. There are two grounds on which a performer may make a claim against a grading decision:
- If a performer believes they have been left off a cast list
- If a performer believes they have been allocated the wrong grade
In the first instance, BECS will attempt to resolve claims by discussion with the performer. Performers may be asked to provide documentary evidence to substantiate their claim.
If performers’ rights revenue from European sources is not already split between performers by the originating collecting society, BECS apportions performer shares according to time spent on screen and programme duration. We watch individual productions to “grade” performances according to the importance of the character played. Performers’ rights are only paid to credited cast members.
Performers in ‘Film / Character’ productions are split into four grades:
- Principal Performer (PP) Leading characters in a production around whom the story revolves.
- Featured Performer (FP) Major characters who are integral to the storyline but secondary to the principals.
- Secondary Performer (SP) Secondary characters who, whilst part of the storyline, do not have a focal role.
- Cast Member (CM) All remaining characters on the cast list.
‘Ensemble’ productions where the majority of cast members have a similar amount of on-screen time are split into two grades:
- Main Artist (MA) All members of the standing cast of an ensemble programme.
- Cast Member (CM) Other performers in an ensemble production.
VAT was levied on some payments BECS administered on behalf of Equity.
Performers’ Rights payment have no VAT attached to them as these are statutory payments and thus have zero VAT (or no VAT dependent on the source country).
BECS is a not-for-profit organisation and deductions on collections are made to cover our overheads and administration costs. BECS currently only collects Performers’ Rights payments. A maximum of 10% will be deducted from gross amounts of distributable monies to cover BECS administration costs. This was authorised by our members during our 2016 AGM. To read the full policy on deductions, please follow this link: Policy on Deductions
Undistributed funds are performer payments that, despite our best efforts, we have not been able to pass onto rights-holders mainly due to missing contact and payment details. Rules governing the way in which we administer undistributed funds were agreed by members at the 2005 AGM, with an updated policy being passed and adopted by members at the 2016 AGM.
A notice explaining how the new policy and rules work and what the company does with undistributed monies can be viewed by following this link: Policy on undistributed amounts
It should be noted that the rules described in the notice only apply to non-distributable sources of performers’ rights remuneration collected by BECS from other collective management organisations. They do not apply to revenue that we administer on behalf of any other organisation.