The Reprobel combined licence – The simple copyright licence for the digital world

More than 50,000 Belgian companies, self-employed people, liberal professionals, non-profit organisations and public institutions opt for Reprobel’s ‘combined licence’. Read on, and you will immediately understand why.

In today’s digital world, it is very easy to reuse copyright-protected texts and images found on the internet within your company or institution. Some examples. Cutting and pasting copyrighted texts and images. Saving an interesting article from the internet on a smartphone, tablet, computer or server. Sharing this article digitally with colleagues or with a consultant outside the company. A Teams or Zoom meeting showing external, protected texts and images. Incorporating a protected photo from Google or Bing into a PowerPoint presentation. Quickly printing off that interesting report for the train ride. Sharing cartoons or quotes in a professional context.

There are millions of copyrighted texts and images on the internet. And more are added every day. Just think of professional literature, scientific articles, educational works, legal information, press articles, fiction and non-fiction, poems, song lyrics, photos, cartoons, quotes and illustrations.

As an company, organisation or institution, you legally need a licence (art. XI.165 Code of Economic Law) for any digital use of external copyright-protected works. For every digital copy, every print, every scan, every internal or external digital communication or distribution and every presentation of externally protected texts and images. By you, or by any of your employees and colleagues.

There is no legal exception to copyright for quoting by companies and public institutions (except for recognised educational institutions). So you also need a licence for the digital copying of parts of texts and images.

You can try to sort this out yourself through individual licences with authors and publishers, but that is often a hopeless endeavour. You do not really have the time or the motivation to do so. It might not be easy for your company or institution to fully map the use of externally protected texts and images for all your employees. And you soon realise that in many cases you simply cannot find the name or contact details of the rights holder(s) on the internet. So you often don’t know whether, where and how to find a licence for a specific use of an externally protected text or image. In addition, it is important to consult the licensing conditions of the source works.

With Reprobel’s combined licence, you arrange this in just a few clicks for most forms of digital use of external protected texts and images. You avoid checks and infringements for all acts within the licence limits.

The combined licence offers extensive digital licence coverage, tailored to homeworking and digitisation. With a virtually worldwide repertoire of Belgian and foreign source works. At reasonable rates, verified beforehand by the Ministry of Economy and tailored to your sector and your number of staff members. Moreover, it includes your legally required reprography declaration to Reprobel for your photocopies of protected work.

Like other copyright licences, the combined licence has a specific scope. In short, the combined licence covers digital copies or acquisitions from the Internet, internal digital communication within your company or institution, external 1-to-1 or 1-to-few digital communication (e.g. with your legal counsel or accountant), prints, scans, internal presentations, digital archiving and photocopies of copyright-protected texts and images (or parts thereof) in Reprobel’s domestic and foreign repertoire.

However, publication on a public website or on social media and 1-to-many external communications such as newsletters and promotional campaigns, are not covered by the combined licence. The combined licence also does not provide coverage if an individual licence is available on the market for a specific use (e.g. for databases, e-books, structural use of press articles or digital press reviews). If an individual licence is available, you must arrange this directly and additionally with the rights holder or its management company.

With your payment to Reprobel, you ensure that authors and publishers receive a fair renumeration for the use of their works, even in the digital world. So you can continue to enjoy a wide range of high-quality source works every day. In fact, 90% of what we collect goes to Belgian rights holders. Since the beginning of its activities, Reprobel has already distributed more than 430 million EUR to authors and publishers.

Through your sector organisation, you can often enjoy an attractive discount with a promo code for the combined license. Reprobel has concluded more than fifty sector agreements on this licence, in almost all professional sectors. You can find the list of sector agreements at the bottom of the homepage on this website.

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