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Neighbouring rights

Decisions in respect of recording, reproduction and broadcasting
Neighbouring rights are rights that are related to copyright (“neighbouring”), and that give a performing artist or producer the right to decide on recording, reproduction and broadcast of a performance. The performing artist or producer receives a fair compensation in return. The Dutch Neighbouring Rights Act was implemented in 1993.

The Act is an elaboration of two international treaties. The Act confers rights to performing artists. Who are they? They include “the actor, singer, musician or dancer and every other person who performs, sings, presents or performs in any other manner a work of literature, science or art or an expression of folklore, as well as the artist who performs a variety show or circus act or a puppet show. If more than six actors or musicians have participated, they must choose a representative to exercise their rights.

In addition, the Act confers approximately the same rights to the producers, i.e. to film and record companies and broadcasters. The Neighbouring Rights Act confers the right:

to decide whether a performance may be recorded
to decide whether a recording may be reproduced and marketed
to decide whether a recording may be broadcast, may be screened (e.g. a cinema or sports association) or may be played (e.g. background music in a shop).
Commercially-released records (phonograms) may always be broadcast or played, provided that a fair fee is paid for the benefit of the artist and the producer. The following acts are allowed in accordance with the copyrights:

Copy for personal practice, study or use
The use of fragments in news broadcasts
Quoting in an announcement, review, polemic or scientific dissertation (right to quote)
Using records in textbooks or, for example, for school TV, as an explanation in education; however, in certain cases a fee must be paid.
The performing artist and the producer have the right to receive a fair compensation (public lending right) when lending a recording, for example a CD in a library or a movie at a video shop. If no agreement can be reached about the amount of compensation, the interested parties may ask the court of The Hague to pronounce judgement. Educational and research institutions are exempted from the public lending right. The neighbouring rights remain valid for 50 years and are passed by succession. The 50-year term will commence from the moment a recording is marketed.

In principle, the rights may be transferred to a different party (for example, singers may sell their rights to the record company), with a few exceptions: the personality rights remain with the original artist and a singer or musician shall always have the right to a fair fee from renting CDs and suchlike.

Collection and distribution (apportionment): this is carried out by organisations designated by the government, namely the Foundation for the Exploitation of Neighbouring Rights (SENA, for the collection and distribution of fees for broadcasting and playing sound recordings (CDs and suchlike). The NORMA Foundation (NORMA)represents all other collective interests of musicians and actors in respect of neighbouring rights, such as the collection and distribution of home copy, lending right and cable fees. In Belgium the fee for neighbouring rights is called equitable remuneration, which is collected by the collection societies PlayRight (formerly Uradex) (for artists-performers) and Simim (Belgian music industry). Click here for an overview in Belgium.

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