A link between image makers and image users

A service organization for image users

In association with each individual artist or through agreements with partner organisations around the world Bildupphovsrätt helps image users with licences and makes sure the artist receives a royalty when an image is reproduced. We also have a large number of contract customers a solution that’s ideal for frequent image users that want to avoid having to apply for a licence every single time. 


Collecting and paying out

Bildupphovsrätt is responsible for collecting and distributing funds for royalties and IR (individual remuneration when visual material is copied for use). We also distribute IV (individual remuneration when works are displayed) which is a state budget allocation which pays remuneration to visual artists whose works are shown publicly. Since the beginning Bildupphovsrätt has paid out SEK 1 billion in remuneration to visual and design artists. 


Bildupphovsrätt is run on a non-profit basis. The association was founded in 1989 by KRO – the Swedish Artists’ National Organization originally under the name of Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige or BUS. Today Bildupphovsrätt represents several different categories of artists in the visual field.

How Bildupphovsrätt is financed

Bildupphovsrätt does not charge a membership fee. Instead we charge a percentage on the money we collect and pay out to cover our running costs. This percentage is currently about 20%. Bildupphovsrätt works for the artist and when this work generates payment a fee of 20% is charged which is taken off the amount due to the member. The percentage is decided at the Annual General Meeting of Bildupphovsrätt. 


We deal with any queries when someone wishes to use your work in Sweden or abroad sign a contract with the user and issue licences. We monitor to make sure that your name is stated that your work is not distorted and that you get paid. 

Legal expertise

We have legal expertise which if necessary can be brought in if your works are not used as agreed with Bildupphovsrätt. 

Get paid

We conduct ongoing negotiations and sign agreements with major players such as public broadcasters SVT and UR commercial network TV4 the daily press and Sveriges Tidskrifter (the Swedish Magazine Publishers Association) to make sure that you receive reasonable royalty payments when your works are used in their productions. The same applies to government authorities museums cultural heritage institutions municipal authorities and other organisations that wish to show your visual material. We scrutinise their productions and make sure you get paid if your works are used. 

Why should I become a member?

Bildupphovsrätt deals with a large proportion of its members’ copyright matters. This means that we give licences for your visual material to be used and we also monitor to ensure that your copyright is being respected. We also work to strengthen your copyright protection and the more artist members we have the easier it is for us to make our voice heard. Don’t forget to join a professional organisation as well you will find our member organisations at the bottom of the page.

What does membership cost?

Bildupphovsrätt does not charge a membership fee. Instead when we make payments to you we charge an administration fee on the amount due to you. The administration fee is set by Bildupphovsrätt’s Annual General Meeting and varies depending on the type of royalty. Read more about these here. Bildupphovsrätt is a non-profit organisation; the deduction is made to cover our running costs.

What does the contract mean?

The contract between yourself and Bildupphovsrätt covers what Bildupphovsrätt undertakes to do. In several important respects it means that we act on your behalf. For example we may issue a licence when someone wants to use your works. In some cases we have to ask for your opinion before granting consent for instance in advertising political or religious contexts.

Bildupphovsrätt’s mandate includes monitoring your commercial and intellectual interests when works are used in the following areas for example:
•    Recording and showing of works in TV and film.
•    Reproduction of works in printed material presentations on websites and so on.
•    Reproduction of works in other techniques e.g. as a decoration on textiles or crockery.
•    Collecting royalties such as reproduction fees and resale fees (droit de suite).
•    Taking action against unauthorised use of works.
•    In areas where a contractual licence applies under the Swedish Copyright Act.
•    Passing on certain public law remunerations.

Bildupphovsrätt aims to work independently and to ensure that you the artist enjoy the best possible terms when works are used.

Are all situations monitored?

Photographers and illustrators often have customers in the newspaper magazine and publishing world for instance where contracts for copyright and further use are signed directly with each organisation. In these cases Bildupphovsrätt has more limited ability to monitor image rights. 

Can you help out when queries come in from abroad?

Bildupphovsrätt is part of an international network of organisations which have mutual agreements guaranteeing that members’ rights are also monitored internationally. This means that Swedish image users may turn to us also when asking about artists in other countries. 

Can I personally grant permission to use my images? 

You may give permission for your works to be used as long as the purpose is not to produce a financial gain for the user. It doesn’t matter whether the user runs a commercial or a non-profit organisation the permission you grant must not be intended to produce financial gain for the user as is the case with advertising for example. If you give your permission personally please notify Bildupphovsrätt so that we can make a note of it.

Can I limit the scope of Bildupphovsrätt’s mandate?

Yes. You may revoke certain parts of our mandate for instance by instructing us not to grant licences for certain activities or not to include you in certain types of contract. You may also decide whether your contract should apply in one or several EEA countries.

What do I do if I wish to cancel my membership?

As a rightholder you are welcome to terminate your membership at any time. This must be done in writing (by mail or e-mail) and the period of notice is six months.

What is Bildupphovsrätt’s legal form?

Bildupphovsrätt i Sverige the Visual Copyright Society in Sweden is an economic association. This means that you have certain rights which are regulated in the association’s statutes. The statutes are formulated in such a way that Bildupphovsrätt may take on both individuals and organisations as members. 

How to join

Order a member agreement using this form. Once we have received your order we will send you the agreement (in duplicate) the statutes and information about membership.



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.

CISAC (The International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies) is the global organisation which the majority of copyright organisations have joined. 
The organisation is dominated by stakeholders in music, but visual arts organisations are also members and have their own council, the CIAGP, which meets every other year to discuss worldwide issues.

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

Online Art


Check whether the artist can be found in the Bildupphovsrätt member lists. You will also find members of sister societies abroad.


If the artist is a member: Complete a licence application and send it to us. There are different forms for different types of licence. 


E-mail the completed licence form to tillstand@bildupphovsratt.se


We will deal with your licence application as quickly as possible. Once Bildupphovsrätt has approved the application a written licence and an invoice will be sent to you.

Bildupphovsrätt sometimes receives copyright remuneration for artists with whom we lack contact.

On this page, you can find a downloadable PDF listing the artists for whom we lack contact details and therefore are currently investigating.

We would be grateful for any help to notify these artists or their rightsholders that we would like to come in contact with them.

Contact information:

Hornsgatan 103
SE-117 28 Stockholm, Sweden

Alternatively, e-mail bildupphovsratt@bildupphovsratt.se

Please note that the names on the list remain in place until the matter has been fully settled which means that names may remain on the list for a while even after contact has been established.