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Membership and Contract

What are the requirements?

Creators from the professional groups direction, camera, film editing, costume design, stage design as well performing artists in the audiovisual fiels can become beneficiaries of VdFS. To become a member, it is necessary to conclude a Membership Contract. In addition, VdFS also requires a filmography of the filmmaker to start working for him or her.

Why a Membership Contract?

By entering into the Membership Contract, the beneficiaries of VdFS grant their rights and remuneration claims to VdFS to manage fiduciary and they provide instructions for collection to VdFS. VdFS cannot work for the filmmaker without a collection agreement.

The collection agreement with VdFS constitutes the basis, also for the management of secondary exploitation rights abroad, which is ensured by concluding reciprocal agreements with affiliated companies.

The granting of rights applies to each area, in which rights management by a collecting society is required according to domestic or foreign law, or where it is handled in practice.

Who can become a member?

Creators from the professional groups direction, camera, film editing, costume design, stage design as well as  performing artists in the audiovisual field. Legal successors (heirs) of those in the aforementioned professional groups can also become members.

How do I become a member?

To become a member, the conclusion of collection agreement is required. In addition, a complete filmography of the filmmaker is required.

How much does the membership cost?

VdFS membership is free of charge. There are neither one-off nor regular fees.

How is VdFS financed?

VdFS is not profit-oriented. Like all collecting societies, VdFS receives its payment for its activities from deductions from the copyright remunerations distributed to the beneficiaries within Austria, as do all collecting societies. Income from abroad is transferred without fees directly to the beneficiaries.

What can VdFS offer me?

VdFS exercises the copyrights of filmmakers and the neighbouring rights of performing artists in the audiovisual field and distributes the royalties due from cable and blank tape levy as well as other copyright claims to filmmakers and actors. VdFS uses reciprocal agreements with numerous foreign affiliated companies to ensure the exercise of the rights of VdFS beneficiaries abroad.

Besides the main responsibilities of collecting and distributing revenues, VdFS also performs social and cultural tasks (promotion of Austrian filmmaking, living cost grants for beneficiaries in need, support for training and further education, etc.).

Members are also offered free legal consultation or tax advice of up to 2000 Euros per year.

What criteria are used to distribute royalties?

The distribution of royalties occurs separately for filmmakers and actors.

The calculation is made using various parameters such as the type of work, the broadcaster or broadcast time. Corresponding calculation factors have been set down for different types of work. Likewise, factors are set down for broadcast factors for television broadcasters, depending on the degree of dissemination and the reception potential of these programmes. Further, the time the transmission during the day and night also affects the calculation of royalties.

Payment is based on the length of the works in full minutes, although works under 10 minutes are not remunerated by VdFS.

You can see the current conditions of distribution by clicking on the following link.

How are my royalties calculated?

Here you will find a graphic explaining the system of royalty calculation and illustrating it with examples.

When do I receive my royalties?

The calculation of royalties is done every autumn for the broadcast dates of the previous year. Broadcasts in earlier years (retroactive to three broadcast years) are paid in the course of subsequent settlements.

Royalty payments from foreign affiliated societies are send to the recipients several times a year without deduction of any fees.

Can I be a member of several collecting societies?

VdFS can also exercise the rights of its beneficiaries abroad, which means the collection agreement usually includes global rights management. In this case, membership in other foreign collecting societies is not possible, as long as these exercise the same rights.

Beneficiaries can, however, exclude individual countries from rights management or limit rights management only to Austria. In this case, regional memberships in foreign affiliated societies are possible.

Global rights management simply makes the most sense for a filmmaker or performing artists in the audiovisual field, because in that case, the works or contributions only have to be registered once. In the case of national memberships in several collecting societies, a work must be registered with all of the societies, which is significantly more work for the filmmaker or actor. Another advantage of global rights management is that VdFS transfers foreign royalties to the beneficiaries without deducting any fees.

For example, a director who also works as a screenwriter or film producer can also be a member of Literar Mechana and/or VAM, because these societies represent different beneficiaries (screenwriters, film producers) than VdFS.

Can royalty claims be inherited?

Not only the artists themselves, but also their legal successors (after their death) can submit rights to VdFS and receive royalties. Works and services/performances are protected for the duration of the protection periods set out in the Copyright Act: films are compensated for 70 years after the death of the last living creator (screenwriter, director, dialogue, film music). Acting performances are compensated for 50 years after the release (premiere performance) of the film.

Are my royalties subject to social security and/or do I have to pay tax on them?

An overview of the legal treatment of bonus payments under tax and legal treatment of royalty payments can be found here.

 

 

Work broadcast registration and changes to the master data

How can I register new works and contributions?

The work broadcast registration serves to identify the claims of filmmakers, actors and speakers.

Registration of works and contributions is the most important basis for calculating royalties. VdFS assesses TV programmes independently but also relies on the registrations of its members for the sake of completion.

New works and contributions should therefore be registered regularly. This can be done in the list of works with the button "Add new work". Registration of works can also be done by email, post or fax.

What can be claimed for authors?

VdFS includes the following types of works for authors: cinema / television films, series, documentaries / TV report contributions / reports, sitcoms / comedies, soaps / telenovelas, documentary-style soaps and series as well as TV events.

According to the conditions of distribution of VdFS, news, advertisements, sport broadcasts, cartoons / animation, tv shows, cooking shows, talk shows, readings, music broadcasts, live broadcasts or recordings of stage plays in front of an audience, reality TV shows, school and educational television and infotainment are not accounted for. Further information can be found in the conditions of distribution.

Works of at least 10 minutes in length are remunerated.

New works should be registered on a regular basis.

Why do I have to search for a work when I want to register a new one?

Given the likelihood that we already have the work in our system, it is necessary (and also easier) if you search for the work first, so duplicates can also be avoided.

Why can't existing works/titles be changed?

Once a work has been approved, it is present in our system and firmly integrated, so a change can only be made by us.

Why is my work in the unedited list for so long?

We only approve works as soon as they have been broadcast for the first time (cinema or TV), as various parameters such as subtitles can still change up to this point.

How can I sort my work list?

Clicking on a heading of the table at the work list will sort by this heading in ascending order. Clicking again will sort in descending order.

Why is a work available more than once?

Each different cut version is considered an independent work.

Why is there no director named in the list of works?

The director can be seen in the detail view for each work.

Why can't I see all the (registered) works?

Currently, only verifiable works according to the distribution rules are displayed in the MyVdFS work list. All other verified works are managed in our internal database.

What can be claimed for actors?

VdFS includes the following types of works for actors: Cinema / TV films, television films as series and fictional series.

According to the distribution conditions of VdFS, advertisements, music clips, recordings of stage productions in front of an audience, interviews, hosting and infotainment are not accounted for. Further information can be found in the conditions of distribution.

Works of at least 10 minutes in length are remunerated.

New works should be registered on a regular basis.

What can be claimed for speakers?

VdFS includes the following types of works for speakers: Cinema/TV films, TV films as series, fictional series, documentaries/magazine features/reports.

Further information can be found in the conditions of distribution.

Works of at least 10 minutes in length are remunerated.

New works should be registered on a regular basis.

Changes to the master data

We ask you to tell us immediately about any change of address and/or bank account or to update these things yourself in MyVdFS.

Why can't I find my confirmed work in my work list?

This may be due to several reasons: it may be a non-compensable work that is only managed in our internal database, or the work was broadcast under a different title and can be found with this title in the MyVdFS work list.

Where do I see my percentage?

The percentage of a function can be seen and changed in the detailed view.

How can I add an artist name?

Artist names and name variants can be added or deleted when changing master data.

How can I register send data?

Send data can be added to both the work send message and the detailed view of an already confirmed work.

I have added send data, what now?

Although VdFS evaluates TV programs independently, it is also dependent on the reports of its members for reasons of completeness. We will analyze the reported broadcasting data, use it for accounting purposes or forward it to our foreign sister societies.

Where do I see the broadcast dates of a work?

The send data cannot be viewed in MyVdFS, they are managed in our internal database. Send data is listed in the details of the credit notes.

 

 

Information on tax

Information on tax and social insurance

Our tax consultant and his team have summarized the most important information on tax and social insurance for you here.

Residence certificate

To enable payment of royalties, Members, whose tax residence is not in Austria, must provide VdFS with a residence certificate confirmed by the tax office in the place of residence.

Further information and the relevant form can be found here.

 

 

Guides

These practical guides were created in response to increased requests from beneficiaries to VdFS - Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden (Collecting society of film professionals) and

are intended to provide a general introduction to the subject and raise awareness of various legal issues. These cannot replace advice in individual cases.