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bizili or reprography declaration?

bizili (combo: digital and paper). In today’s digital world, it is very easy to reuse copyrighted texts and images found on the internet within your company or institution. Some examples. Cutting and pasting copyrighted texts and images. Saving an interesting article on the internet to a smartphone, tablet, computer or server. Sharing this article digitally with colleagues or with an advisor outside the company. A Teams or Zoom meeting showing external, protected texts and images. Incorporating a protected photo from Google or Bing into a PowerPoint presentation. Quickly printing off that interesting report for the train. Sharing cartoons or quotes in a professional context.

However, companies and public institutions legally need a licence for digital copying or citation, internal or external digital distribution, presentations, prints and scans of copyrighted works (art. XI.165 Economic Code). Trying to arrange copyright individually for all employees, however, can be a real titanic task in the digital world.

There are millions of copyrighted texts and images on the internet. And more are added every day. Many online source works – think of a photo on Google or Bing, for example – do not mention the name or contact details of the rights holder(s). In fact, the rights holder can also be foreign. So, it is often unclear whether, where and how you can take out an individual licence. It is also important that you consult the licence conditions. By the way, licence terms should be interpreted restrictively: whatever the rights holder does not expressly and specifically permit, is prohibited. If you employ staff, things get a bit more difficult. You must then ensure that you have concluded a conclusive individual licence for each digital reproduction, citation, communication or presentation of external copyright-protected texts and images for professional use by each of your employees. However, it may not be easy for your company or institution to fully map out the use of external protected texts and images for all your employees.

That is why more than 80,000 Belgian companies and institutions have already chosen bizili. bizili is the new name of Reprobel’s ‘combined licence’. bizili covers both the most common forms of digital reproduction/communication and paper reproductions of protected works in one convenient bundle, for Belgian and for an almost worldwide selection of foreign source works. You can think of bizili as a kind of all-risk insurance that provides very broad licence coverage and legal certainty, offering maximum protection against copyright infringements in the digital world.

Reprography declaration (paper only). On the Reprobel portal, you can also opt for a more limited ‘reprography declaration’ (articles XI.235-239 and XI.318/1-6 of the Economic Law Code and 2 Royal Decrees of 5 March 2017 relating to the reprography remuneration for authors and the corresponding publisher’s remuneration). Photocopies are subject to a legal exception to the rule that you need a licence to use protected works. As a company or institution, you are therefore allowed to take photocopies of such works without the permission of the rights holder. On the other hand, there is a legal declaration and remuneration obligation towards Reprobel as the centrally collecting management society. This special arrangement for photocopies is the only exception to copyright for companies and public institutions (that are not recognised educational institutions).

With a reprography declaration, you pay a fixed page fee for photocopies of protected work of EUR 0.0554 VAT exclusive (VAT 6%). As a smaller company, you can also opt for a ‘standardised declaration’ for photocopies at a fixed annual fee per FTE employee: EUR 8, EUR 12 or EUR 20 VAT exclusive per reference year, depending on your tariff category. For prints of protected work, you can checkout additionally at a fixed page rate of EUR 0.066 VAT exclusive (mandate-based collection). For any paper press reviews, you always checkout additionally on a page basis. If you do not make paper reproductions of protected works, you can make a zero declaration’ for these.

Attention: With a reprography declaration you do not receive any additional digital licence coverage through Reprobel.

Consider your choice carefully. On Reprobel’s declaration portal, you can choose between bizili and the more limited reprography declaration. We advise you to do a thorough research beforehand into the actual use of external copyright-protected texts and images in your organisation for the reference year of your declaration, both digitally and on paper. So, you are free to choose between both options, but your choice is not without obligation.

Checks and penalties. Reprobel can check your declaration through its sworn agents who can carry out inspections on site, with a detailed questionnaire about your digital use of protected works and your licences, or by obtaining information of tour reproduction devices from the supplier or leasing company. Incorrect or incomplete declarations (reprography) or established copyright infringements (digital use) can lead to sanctions that are usually a multitude of the normal licence fee. Copyright, like trademark or patent law, is an intellectual property right and therefore a ‘prohibition right’.

So, you would do well to choose the right declaration option, especially in the digital world. After all, more and more use of protected work within companies and institutions today is digital.