Copyright is international. The Berne Convention guarantees all authors and artists of signatory nations a minimum level of protection for their works and efforts. Today, only a few countries are not signatories of the Berne Convention.
The Convention’s fundamental rule is that all authors and artists, regardless of nationality, are protected by the signatory nation according to copyright law in that country. Moreover, each nation’s copyright legislation must provide a certain pre-determined minimum level of protection. This means that copyright protection is relatively similar in its basic structures around the world.
The point of departure for collective administration of copyright with regard to visual arts is that since the legislation is similar in every member state, it is beneficial to have practical administration that also encompasses artists outside of the home nation.
Our sister societies
In association with similar organisations in other countries, Bildupphovsrätt has built up a network with the aid of mutual agreements. Under these agreements, the copyright of the sister organisation’s members is protected by Bildupphovsrätt in Sweden under Swedish law, and according to the principles we apply to our Swedish members/artists. In the same way, our members are granted the same protection by the organisation in the other country.
Bildupphovsrätt currently has agreements with around 50 organisations on all the world’s continents. The number of agreements is growing as new organisations are created, primarily in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Bildupphovsrätt has close contacts with its Nordic sister societies. Legislation and national issues are similar in the Nordic countries, so we have much to learn from one another. In the same way, developments in one country influence other Nordic countries. This Nordic collaboration enables us to be stronger also in other international work.
Bildupphovsrätt is involved in far-reaching international work, the aim being to foster and discuss international exchange, learn from each other, and streamline and modernise the way we co-operate. Bildupphovsrätt works primarily through three international organisations.
CISAC (The International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies) is the global organisation which the majority of copyright organisations have joined.
IFRRO (International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations) organises national Reprographic Rights Organisations (RRO) involved in mass usage, such as photocopying, digitalisation and digital distribution of previously published material. Bildupphovsrätt is an associated member, and is active in the special visual work group that discusses image-related issues in the area.
To co-ordinate and develop work in relation to the EU, the visual arts organisations in the EU have formed European Visual Artists (EVA). EVA works to produce information from the EU (the Commission, Council and Parliament), and to comment on how copyright and other legislation should be formulated to foster the interests of visual artists. Bildupphovsrätt is on the organisation’s board of Directors.
Along with other societies, Bildupphovsrätt has formed Online Art, an organisation that guarantees shared licensing of using works across borders, focusing on the dissemination of artworks on the internet.
Bildupphovsrätt has been a driving force in the formation of The International Authors Forum (IAF). The organisation works globally and brings together all types of organisations that represent creators of various kinds. The IAF works to strengthen creators’ rights in the field of copyright, for reasonable contractual terms, and to establish a platform for artist-related issues where these issues are raised.
Thanks to its international work, Bildupphovsrätt can quickly access outside impulses and improve its own operations for visual artists in Sweden. This also means that we can collect royalties for our members, and that we in turn can generate and pass on royalties to foreign artists.
The International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies
International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations)
European Visual Artists EVA