A link between image makers and image users
Bildupphovsrätt was started by artists and its aim is to promote members’ and visual artists’ financial and copyright interests.
We represent more than 9000 visual authors in Sweden as well as KRO – the Swedish Artists’ National Organization and KIF – the Association of Swedish Craftsmen and Industrial Designers SFF – the Swedish Association of Professional Photographers Svenska Tecknare – the association of Swedish illustrators and graphic designers SJF – the Swedish Union of Journalists and SK – the Swedish Artists Association. Bildupphovsrätt also represents some 150 000 foreign visual artists through the sister societies we work with. Bildupphovsrätt complies with Swedish and international copyright laws.
Bildupphovsrätt collects royalties on behalf of artists when their works are used in different contexts. These may be books record covers posters in newspapers and magazines or on websites. Every year around SEK 150 million is paid back to the people who create the visual art. Money that enables new art to be created.
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.
Become a member
Bildupphovsrätt i Sverige, the Visual Copyright Society in Sweden, is run on a non-profit basis. The society represents almost 150 000 visual and design artists, illustrators, photographers, designers and other creators of images and design around the world. We draw up royalty agreements and make sure that creative artists get paid when their works are used.
Benefits of membership
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.
We have legal expertise which if necessary can be brought in if your works are not used as agreed with Bildupphovsrätt.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can become a member?
Anybody who is an artist/creator or rightholder in the visual field may become a member. Our members include e.g. artists craftspeople practical artists photographers designers and illustrators and rightholders of works by such creators. Bildupphovsrätt does not assess those who apply for membership; all copyright holders are welcome.
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.
Bildupphovsrätt's Member Lists
LISTS TO DOWNLOAD
Bildupphovsrätt i Sverige member register in PDF format: Member register, individual members
List of individual members not covered by Bildupphovsrätt’s agreement, updated 12 December 2014: List, non-covered members.
List of artists with special copyright designation: Members with specific designation.
Bildupphovsrätt represents approximately 10 000 Swedish and 135 000 foreign artists. The member lists contain the names of our Swedish and foreign members. All professional categories in the visual arts are represented. Lists of members can be found to the right.
A number of Bildupphovsrätt’s foreign members on the list are not covered by Bildupphovsrätt’s general agreement with museums, municipalities, county councils, art associations, auction houses and newspapers. For these artists, the contractual party must obtain special permission from Bildupphovsrätt prior to publication. A list of these artists can also be found here:
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.
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
Use images – Bildupphovsrätt helps you do the right thing
We offer a range of solutions for users of visual material
If you wish to reproduce one or more works in print or digitally you almost always need permission before publishing. Bildupphovsrätt helps you get the licence you need to use the picture in all kinds of situations. We represent more than 8500 Swedish and 90000 foreign artists. We help you to do the right thing and make sure that the artists receive the royalties they are entitled to.
How to apply for individual licences
You may wish to use the image of an artwork for a book cover T-shirt print website flyer or something else. If so you can apply to us for a licence provided we represent the visual artist in question.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.