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 (actor/actress, voice acting) can become beneficiaries of VdFS. To become a member it is necessary to sign a membership contract and to send a complete filmography.
Who can become a member?
Authors from the professional groups of directing, cinematography, film editing, costume design and production design as well as performing artists in the audiovisual field (actors/actress, voice actors/actress). Legal successors (heirs) of the mentioned professional groups can also become members.
How do I become a member? (Formalities)
For a VdFS membership, the conclusion of the membership contract is a prerequisite. This can be filled out digitally via our homepage or must be sent in original to our postal address. In addition, we need a complete filmography, with information about function and volume in the respective work and / or with information about role names and shooting days / takes of your production.
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.
Does the membership cost anything?
VdFS membership is free of charge, no one-time or ongoing fees are charged.
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 administers the copyrights of film authors and the neighbouring copyrights of performing artists in the audiovisual sector (actors, voice) and distributes the royalties accruing from cable and blank tape remuneration and other copyright claims to filmmakers and performing artists in the audiovisual sector. Through reciprocity agreements with numerous foreign sister societies, the rights of VdFS beneficiaries are also administered abroad.
In addition to its main task, the collection and distribution of funds, VdFS also performs social and cultural tasks (promotion of Austrian filmmaking, cost-of-living allowances for needy beneficiaries, promotion of education and training measures, etc.). In addition, members are also offered legal or tax advice within the framework of a maximum of EUR 2,000 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.
The current distribution regulations of VdFS can be found in the download area.
How are my royalties calculated?
Here you will find a graphic explaining the system of royalty calculation and illustrating it with examples.
When will I receive the 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 the legal successors (heirs) can contribute rights to VdFS and receive royalties. Works and performances are protected according to the protection periods stipulated in the Copyright Act: Films 70 years after the death of the last living author (screenplay, direction, dialogue, film music), acting performances are compensated up to 50 years after the release (first performance) of the film.
In order to succeed existing (deceased) members, a decree of inheritance or a similar foreign document must be submitted to VdFS. For details on legal succession, please contact the VdFS office.
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.
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! We recommend to do this at least once a year. Works can be registered via the VdFS online platform MyVdFS (Work overview / Add new work) and directly via the MyVdFS app. Of course, we also accept plant registrations by e-mail or mail.
Who can use the MyVdFS app?
The online portal MyVdFS, which is accessible to our members, has been available as a mobile app for on-the-go since April 2022. With the app you can manage your membership, make new plant notifications, view your credits and update your master data.
What can be claimed for authors?
VdFS accounts for the following types of works for authors: Theatrical/TV films, series, documentaries/magazine features/reports, sitcom/comedy, soaps/telenovelas and docu-soaps and series.
In accordance with VdFS distribution rules, news, advertising, sports broadcasts, cartoons/animation, TV shows, cooking shows, talk shows, readings, music shows, live broadcasts or recordings of stage works in front of an audience, reality TV, school and educational TV, and infotainment are not billed. Works are generally billed for a broadcast length of 10 minutes or more.
Please remember to report your works regularly!
Why do I have to search for a work when I want to register a new one?
Given the probability that we already have the work in our system, it is necessary (and also easier) if you search for the work first. This way duplicates can be avoided and you only have to complete your activity.
Why can't existing works/titles be changed?
Once a work has been approved, it is present in our system and firmly integrated, thus a change can only be made by us. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want/need to have a change made.
Why is my work in the unedited list for so long?
Works are only approved by us as soon as they have been broadcast for the first time (cinema or TV). Experience has shown that various parameters, such as subtitles, can still change before the first broadcast, which is why works that have already been entered appear in the unprocessed list.
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 plants according to the distribution rules are displayed in the MyVdFS plant list. All other verified plants are managed in our internal database.
What can be claimed for actors/actress?
VdFS accounts for the following types of work for actors/actresses: Theatrical/TV films, television films as series, and fictional series.
In accordance with VdFS distribution regulations, commercials, music clips, recordings of stage works in front of an audience, interviews, moderations and infotainment are not billed. Works are billed for a broadcast length of 10 minutes or more.
Please remember to report your works regularly!
What can be claimed for voice actors/actress?
VdFS accounts for the following types of works for voice actors/actresses: Cinema/TV films, TV films as series, fictional series, documentaries/magazine features/reports. Works are billed from a broadcast length of 10 minutes.
Please remember to report your works regularly!
How can I modify my master data?
Please change your master data via the MyVdFS online portal or the MyVdFS app. You are also welcome to notify us of changes to your address and/or bank details by mail. To do so, please send us an email to email@example.com.
Why can't I find my confirmed work in my work list?
The fact that you do not find a reported and confirmed work in your list can basically have two reasons: either it is possibly a work that cannot be offset (according to our distribution regulations) and is only administered in our internal database, or the work was broadcast under a different title and cannot be found with this title in the work list.
Where do I see my percentage?
The percentage of a function can be seen and changed in the detailed view of your work.
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 plant send message and the detailed view of an already confirmed plant.
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 broadcast data cannot be viewed in the MyVdFS online platform or the MyVdFS app. These are managed in our internal database. However, this data is listed in the details of the credits.
Certificate of residency
For the payment of royalties to members who are not resident in Austria for tax purposes, VdFS requires a certificate of residency (declaration by individuals for the purpose of tax treaty relief at source) confirmed by their tax office of residence. If we do not receive this document, we have to deduct 20% withholding tax from payments to our beneficiaries and pay it to the tax office in Eisenstadt, Austria.
Please keep in mind that this certificate has to be renewed every year. Send it to us at the beginning of the year!
Who must provide a certificate of residency?
All members of VdFS who do not have their residence and tax domicile in Austria have to obtain a so-called certificate of residence from their tax office annually and send it to VdFS.
When must the certificate be provided?
Please send us the certificate, verifiedand signed by the tax office, at the beginning of the year. The certificate must be renewed every year!
No later than June of the respective year, however, the certificate should be available to VdFS.
What happens if no certification is provided?
If VdFS does not receive a so-called certificate of residence by June of the respective year at the latest, 20% withholding tax will automatically be deducted from the payments to our beneficiaries and paid to the tax office in Eisenstadt.
Can the withholding tax deducted be refunded?
It is possible to have the withholding tax deduction refunded by the Eisenstadt tax office if you simultaneously provide proof that you have paid the tax in your country of residence for the royalty payment. To do so, please contact the Eisenstadt tax office directly.
These practical guides were created in response to increased requests from beneficiaries 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.