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FAQ

First consult our list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) below. You may already find the answer to your question there.

If you still have a question about izili or Reprobel, you can use our online contact form.

The annual Reprobel declaration

Why does Reprobel write to me every year?

Reprobel writes to you every year because you are a company, self-employed person, liberal professional, non-profit organisation or public institution. For entities in the private and public sector, a specific legal remuneration scheme for reprography applies, with an obligatory annual declaration to Reprobel. As an attractive alternative, Reprobel offers a much broader licence that also covers the most common forms of digital reproduction and communication of the works in its national and international repertoire: izili by Reprobel (the new name of the ‘combined licence’). Already more than 80,000 Belgian companies and institutions enjoy izili’s broad licence coverage. We developed izili specifically for remote working and digitalisation.

Is the declaration to Reprobel a legal obligation?

The annual declaration to Reprobel is a legal obligation but only in the context of the reprography regulation (art. XI.235-239 and XI.318/1-6 Code of Economic Law and two Royal Decrees of 5 March 2017 related to the reprography remuneration and the corresponding publisher’s remuneration), i.e. if in your organisation you take paper reproductions of copyright protected works.

You arrange digital use of protected work easily and centrally with izili (the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence). Izili is a classic copyright licence, specifically developed for the digital world. As such, you are free to subscribe to it or not, but this choice is not optional. Trying to settle copyrights yourself in the digital world can be a real titanic task. Reprobel can check your declaration, and there are penalties for copyright infringements that are usually a multiple of the normal licence fee.

What declaration options do I have?

On the Reprobel declaration portal, you can choose between Izili (the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence) and a more limited reprography declaration. Izili regulates the most common forms of digital reproduction and communication as well as paper reproductions of copyrighted works, and that for an almost worldwide repertoire. A reprography declaration is limited to your paper reproductions of protected works, and can also possibly be a ‘zero declaration‘. The difference between these two options is clearly explained on the izili theme website (www.izili.be). It is best to read this text carefully before making a declaration. You are free to choose between these two options, but you should consider your choice carefully. After all, Reprobel can check your declaration, and there are sanctions for incorrect declarations (reprography) and for copyright infringements (digital use).

How do I make a declaration to Reprobel?

Every year, during the first quarter, you will receive a request for declaration from Reprobel, by e-mail or by letter, with a declaration deadline (30 April). This contains your personal login for the portal declaration. With this, you make your declaration on our online declaration portal. We have made the portal more user-friendly and visually attractive, so your declaration normally won’t take more than 15 minutes. You first check and validate your client data, which we have already filled in for you as much as possible in advance. You then carefully choose the declaration option that best suits your actual (digital and paper) use of copyrighted works. Each step of the declaration is clearly explained in the margin, and you can always follow which step of the declaration process you are currently in. Once you have validated your declaration for the reference year, you cannot go back. After all, the declaration to Reprobel is a binding legal act. In principle, we do not credit invoices issued on the basis of a validated declaration. You can pay your invoice immediately online on the portal, or afterwards by bank transfer.

Are the emails and letters from Reprobel spam or phishing?

No. The mails and letters from Reprobel are definitely authentic. They are always signed by our CEO (Jean-Paul Langhoor – Beitia) or our Head of Licensing, Legal & International (Kurt Van Damme). They also contain sufficient elements that allow the reliability of our communications to be verified. As there is a legal obligation to declare reprography, it is best to read our mails or letters carefully.

Why do I receive a declaration request from Reprobel, and other companies/institutions do not?

There are more than 1 million companies and public institutions in Belgium. Of these, Reprobel registers about one fifth as a relevant company/institution, based on their sector and staff size. In principle, we do not register companies in the lowest rate category (e.g. retail and catering) with less than 5 employees, which makes them de facto exempt from the declaration obligation. We also do not write to companies and institutions covered by a group agreement or by a sector agreement with centralised payment related to izili (the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence). It may also happen that a letter from Reprobel has not been ordered correctly or that our mail has ended up in a spam folder. But in principle, we do write to every relevant company and institution for their annual declaration to Reprobel.

Checks and penalties

Reprobel can legally verify your declaration. For reprography, this may involve, for example, obtaining information from your organisation or from the supplier/leasing company of your photocopiers or printers, or a legally regulated expertise, the cost of which may in certain cases be your responsibility. For digital use of protected works (if you do not sign up for Izili, the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence), it could be e.g. a detailed questionnaire about the digital reproduction/communication of these kinds of works in your organisation, the way you monitor this internally and the licences you have. Reprobel also has sworn agents who can carry out on-the-spot inspections in your organisation and draw up an official report to prove otherwise. Late or clearly incorrect declarations for reprography are subject to legal sanctions such as an increased page rate. For copyright infringements in the digital world, the penalty is usually a multitude of the normal licence fee.

Can I be unsubscribed from your communication?

Because we write to your organisation on the basis of a legal annual declaration obligation for reprography, we essentially cannot unsubscribe you from our database. If there is no use of external copyright protected works (digital + paper), and if Reprobel accepts this, we do try to limit the communication with your organisation as much as possible.

In which language will you write to me?

We write to companies and public institutions in the language of the Region or Community in which their registered office is located (for the Brussels Capital Region by default in French). However, on the declaration portal you can choose the language in which your organisation wishes to be notified by Reprobel (Dutch, French or German). Your contact person for the portal declaration can choose their own language for this declaration. The language for the portal declaration might therefore not necessarily be the same as the language in which we write to you.

How do you get my data? And what about the GDPR?

Reprobel only offers copyright licences to professional users, not to consumers. We obtain your company or institution data from the databases of the NSSO (entities with staff) or the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (self-employed persons without staff). To guarantee the quality of your data, we sometimes additionally consult databases such as Trends Top. You can always check your data and, if necessary, adjust them in your client profile on the declaration portal. The statutory declaration obligation for reprography is the legal basis for processing your professional data. We never share your data with third parties, except if we are legally obliged to do so. If we would nevertheless process data of identifiable ‘natural persons’ as part of their professional data (e.g. a professional mail address in which your name is identifiable), we will respect the GDPR and national regulations in this regard. You can find our privacy policy here.

What does Reprobel do?

Who is Reprobel?

Reprobel is a cooperative society (CV) for the copyright management of more than 60,000 Belgian authors in all genres (specialist literature, scientific, educational, fiction and non-fiction, comics, journalism, photographs, cartoons, illustrations and other images, song lyrics, etc.) and more than 400 Belgian publishers from large to small. Reprobel has 15 Belgian member management companies of authors and publishers. Through more than 40 agreements with foreign partners, Reprobel also represents hundreds of thousands of foreign authors and publishers for the use of their works on the Belgian territory. Reprobel’s repertoire for izili (the new name of the combined licence) is virtually worldwide. Reprobel is not a government institution. Your payment to Reprobel is therefore not a tax or duty, but a fair remuneration for the use of the works of our authors and publishers, also in the digital world. Fair P(l)ay, so to speak.

Where do the remunerations go?

The remunerations collected by Reprobel (after deduction of its limited management costs) are entirely distributed among the rights holders. In this way, our authors and publishers receive a fair remuneration for the use of their works, also in the digital world. Since its launch, Reprobel has already distributed more than 450 million euros among the rights holders. 90% of the distributed remunerations go to Belgian rights holders. Reprobel is therefore an important player in the Belgian creative and information sector. If you, as a rights holder (author or publisher), think you are entitled to remunerations, you can read more here.

Who monitors Reprobel?

Reprobel is (through its member management companies) owned by the Belgian authors and publishers, and is therefore monitored in the first place by its own rights holders. In addition, Reprobel is audited by its company auditor RSM. Reprobel is also audited by the Control unit for collecting societies at the Ministry of Economy. with regard to its organic documents, rates, collections and distributions among other things. The collective management of copyright is strictly regulated in Belgium. This makes sense, as Reprobel collects, manages and distributes several tens of millions of euros on an annual basis on behalf of hundreds of thousands of national and international rights holders.

Transparency

More information about Reprobel and its collections and distributions can be found in our annual report. That can be read under ‘financial and legal reporting’ on our general website www.reprobel.be. There you will also find all the information that Reprobel is legally obliged to publish.

Izili by Reprobel (combined licence)

What is izili by Reprobel?

Izili is the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence. Izili covers in one convenient bundle the most common forms of digital reproduction/communication and paper reproductions of the copyrighted texts and images in Reprobel’s very broad national and international repertoire. So izili really is an easy licence for the digital world, as its name and baseline (Copyright, izified) point out. Izili was developed specifically for remote working and digitalisation. More than 80,000 Belgian companies and public institutions are already covered by izili through a portal declaration, an individual licence agreement or a sector agreement with centralised payment. Through izili, Reprobel is the world leader in business licensing per capita ahead of Switzerland and the Nordic countries, and No. 4 worldwide in this domain in absolute terms after the US, the UK and France.

Why sign up for izili ?

All forms of digital reproduction and communication of copyright protected works are legally subject to a licence obligation (Art. XI.165, § 1, paragraphs 1 and 4, Economic Law Code). As a company, self-employed person or institution, you must therefore have a conclusive licence if you or an employee e.g.:

digitally save(s) an interesting article on the internet (on computer, tablet, smartphone, server, USB, hard disk, …)

share(s) this article internally in your organisation via intranet, mail or chat

share(s) this article externally, e.g. with your counsel or accountant, with the government or with a customer or supplier

quote(s) a number of paragraphs from a protected source text in an opinion (for companies and public institutions, there is no copyright exception for quoting, and so the general licence obligation applies)

include(s) a photograph or illustration or article in a PowerPoint presentation

give(s) a presentation containing externally protected works to an audience (both physically and via Zoom/Teams)

share(s) cartoons, memes or quotes with colleagues in a professional context via informal groups (e.g. WhatsApp)

want(s) to digitally archive external protected source works

want(s) to print out an interesting article on the internet

want(s) to scan an interesting article or chapter

However, companies and institutions usually do not have a good overview of what their employees do online. The licensing obligation applies to all external protected source works stored and distributed through their IT infrastructure, including through employees’ own devices if they are used in a professional context. Moreover, on the Internet, it is often very difficult to find the name and contact details of the rightholder(s). Moreover, the rights holder may be foreign. For any licence terms – if you find them at all – the rule of ‘restrictive interpretation’ applies: whatever is not expressly and specifically authorised therein is prohibited. It can therefore be a real titanic task in the digital world to try to arrange copyright individually with each rights holder separately, and that for all uses of externally protected works in your company or institution.

That is why more than 80,000 Belgian companies (from multinationals to independent consultants) and public institutions have already chosen for the user-friendliness, legal certainty and broad coverage of izili, the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence. With izili, they are maximally protected against copyright infringements, also in today’s digital world.

What exactly does izili cover?

Izili covers (besides photocopies and prints) the most common forms of digital reproduction and communication of copyright protected texts and images in Reprobel’s very broad national and international repertoire. Specifically, it concerns digital-to-digital copies from the Internet or from a mailbox, digital internal communication in your organisation, digital external communication if it is 1-to-1 or 1-to-few, digital archiving, internal presentations (physical or online), digital citations, and scans within the licence limits. Not covered by izili are publications on a public website or on social media (although a simple link to the source work is allowed), and 1-to-many external diffusion such as newsletters and promotional communications. Izili also does not offer licence coverage for use of protected works for which a separate licence is offered (e.g. for scientific or legal databases and photo databases, for structural use of press articles via License2Publish or Copiepresse, or for use of sheet music via SEMU). More information on izili’s broad licence coverage and a model licence agreement with the licence terms can be found at www.izili.be .

Does Izili only regulate the use of Belgian source works?

Not at all. Izili regulates the use of the texts and images (in all genres: professional literature, scientific, educational, fiction and non-fiction, comics, photos, cartoons, illustrations, quotes, artistic visual works, song lyrics, journalism, …) of the more than 60,000 Belgian authors and the more than 400 Belgian publishers affiliated to Reprobel. But on top of that, izili also includes an almost worldwide repertoire of foreign source works. To this end, Reprobel has concluded more than 40 representation agreements with foreign partner organisations. The list of Reprobel’s international agreements can be found here.

How much does izili cost?

Much less than you think. Self-employed persons without staff pay a maximum of EUR 52 per year, companies with less than 5 FTE pay a maximum of EUR 98. Companies with 5 or more FTE pay a basic administrative fee of EUR 29, and in addition a fee of EUR 14, EUR 20 or EUR 29 per relevant FTE (basically their white-collar workers) per year depending on their tariff category. Public institutions pay a maximum of 17 EUR per relevant FTE (in principle, their civil servants and employees) per year. The amounts listed apply from reference year 2023 and are VAT exclusive at the reduced copyright VAT rate of 6%. Izili’s rates can be found at www.izili.be. If you are a member of one of the many sector federations that has a sector agreement with Reprobel, you will receive an attractive discount on the izili tariff. The list of sector agreements can also be found on the izili theme website.

Why do I pay a bit more for izili from reference year 2023?

We have deliberately kept the tariffs for izili (the new name of Reprobel’s combined licence) constant for four reference years. From reference year 2023, new Izili tariffs apply, which have been verified in advance by the Ministry of Economy (art. XI.272 Code of Economic Law).

How did you objectively determine the izili rate?

The Izili tariffs are based on the official standard grid established by ministerial decree for reprography. For izili’s extensive additional digital coverage, an objective surcharge was applied to the amounts of this standard grid, according to the tariff category.

What is a tariff category? And what is a relevant FTE?

Izili’s tariff setting is based on four tariff categories: three for the private sector and one for the public sector. The classification into tariff categories has been determined objectively on the basis of utilisation studies, the individual licence agreements Reprobel enters into and sectoral agreements. An overview of these tariff categories can be found at www.izili.be (‘how much does…’). There you can also read what a ‘relevant FTE’ is in the private sector (in principle your employees, although justified deviations are possible) and in the public sector (in principle your employees and civil servants, although justified deviations are possible).

I already have a number of licences. Should I still sign up for izili?

Izili offers broad licence coverage for the most common forms of digital reproduction / communication and for paper reproductions of the copyrighted texts and images in Reprobel’s national and international repertoire. However, izili does not provide coverage for use of protected works for which a separate licence is offered. However, this type of individual licence is quite limited. For many uses of protected work, no separate licence is offered, and izili offers broad additional coverage. The izili tariff takes into account the complementary nature of the licence coverage.

How do I sign up for izili?

Are you a larger company or public institution with more than 100 employees / civil servants at group level on Belgian territory? Then, like almost all large Belgian companies and institutions, it is best to opt for an izili group agreement. This group agreement replaces the individual declarations made on the portal by each group entity, significantly reduces the administrative burden and can be customised for your organisation (e.g. central invoicing or separate invoicing per company in the group). If you are interested in this, you can contact us via the online contact form. You will find this contact form on all of our communication channels. If you are a member of a sector federation that arranges and pays izili centrally for all its members, we will also no longer write to you individually as long as the sector agreement applies. The list of sector agreements can be found at www.izili.be. We write to the other relevant companies and institutions (from medium-sized to self-employed without personnel) individually for their annual portal declaration to Reprobel. On the declaration portal, you can sign up for izili as one of the declaration options. However, you can only make a declaration on the portal for the company number for which we are writing to you. If you want to declare for several companies or institutions with a separate company number, you can request this via our contact form.

I am a member of a sector federation. Do I get an izili benefit?

Reprobel has already concluded more than 50 sector agreements with regard to to izili (the new name of the combined licence). The list of sector agreements can be found at www.izili.be. As a member of such a sector federation, you receive an attractive discount on the izili rate. You will then receive an annual promo code from your federation for your individual portal declaration to Reprobel. You enter this code during your declaration, and the sector discount is automatically settled on your invoice. If your sector organisation pays centrally for all its members, we will no longer write to you individually.

I already pay a Reprobel contribution on my copier or all-in-one printer anyway. Do I have to pay twice then?

The legislator abolished the device fee for reprography at the end of 2016. So you have not paid a Reprobel device fee since then. You should also no longer see this remuneration on the purchase or lease invoices for copiers and all-in-one printers that you started using from 1 January 2017. So you are not paying Reprobel twice.

I don't have a photocopier or printer. Do I still have to pay Reprobel?

If you choose the more limited reprography declaration for only your paper reproductions of protected work (4.1), you obviously do not have to pay this remuneration if you do not have a copier or printer. You can make a ‘zero declaration’ for this on the declaration portal. Please note: the fact that you do not have a copier or printer is irrelevant for your digital use of copyright-protected work. You can easily arrange this digital use with izili, the new name of the combined licence of Reprobel. Reprobel can check your declaration, and penalties apply for copyright infringements in the digital world.

I work as a consultant or freelancer for external clients. Who has to pay the Reprobel remuneration in that case?

Companies and public institutions only pay Reprobel for the employees on their own payroll, and not for their external suppliers such as consultants and freelancers. You will therefore have to pay the remuneration to Reprobel yourself if you use copyright protected works. In fact, this same principle also applies to employees of a company or institution who are temporarily at the disposal of their customers. For this too, the providing company or institution pays, and not the company or institution where these employees are carrying out temporary assignments.

I often work from an office hub. Does this company pay the Reprobel remuneration for me?

For the paper reproductions of protected work that you make or have made in the external office environment, the service provider normally pays the reprography remuneration to Reprobel (4.1). So you no longer have to arrange this remuneration yourself with Reprobel. However, the office hub does not regulate your digital use of copyright protected work. If you use protected works digitally (digital citations, reproduction, communication, presentation, …), it may be appropriate to sign up for izili, the new name of the combined licence of Reprobel. For digital use of protected work, you are yourself responsible.

My company is a mere patrimonial or management company. Do I have to pay Reprobel for this?

If you do not use copyright protected works within your patrimonial or management company, you obviously do not have to pay for this. This does apply however (when using protected works) for your operating company. Via our contact form, you can link both companies so that you are exempted from declaring your patrimonial or management company. You will find this contact form on all of our communication channels.

I am a copy shop. Can I sign up for izili?

No. Because of your specific business activity you can only arrange paper reproductions (photocopies and prints) of protected work through Reprobel. Reprobel writes to you annually for this. You pay a page fee for this, although smaller copy shops can also pay a flat fee per reproduction device.

Do I pay VAT on the Reprobel remunerations? And is my payment to Reprobel tax deductible?

As a company or public institution (with the exception of recognised educational institutions and scientific research institutions that fall under a separate remuneration scheme and do not pay VAT for this) you pay 6% VAT on the licence fees of Reprobel, regardless of the chosen declaration formula. The izili licence fee that you pay to Reprobel is tax deductible as a normal business expense.

Reprography

What is a reprography declaration?

Photocopies of copyrighted works are subject to a legal exception to ordinary copyright laws: the ‘reprography declaration’. You are allowed to make these photocopies within the confines of the law without permission from the rights holder. If you make this type of photocopy, you are obliged to make a declaration and pay compensation to Reprobel. Attention: with a reprography declaration you do not receive any digital licence coverage (via izili, the new name of the combined licence of Reprobel), even though digital use of protected work is becoming increasingly important within companies and public institutions. If you make a more limited reprography declaration, Reprobel can monitor your digital use of protected work, and penalties apply for copyright infringements that are usually a multitude of the normal licence fee.

What do I pay for reprography?

For photocopies of protected work, you pay a page fee of EUR 0.0554 VAT exclusive per reference year. As a smaller company, you can also pay standardised per relevant FTE. In principle, these are your employees, although justified deviations are possible. You then pay a fixed annual fee of EUR 8, EUR 12 or EUR 20 excluding VAT per relevant FTE per reference year, depending on your tariff category. (With a limited surcharge, you also arrange your digital use of protected work with izili, the new name of the combined licence of Reprobel). For prints of protected work, you pay a page fee of 0.066 EUR VAT exclusive per reference year.

Can I make a zero declaration for reprography?

If you do not have a reproduction device (photocopier/printer) in your organisation, or if you do not make paper reproductions of protected work, you can make a ‘zero declaration’ on the declaration portal of Reprobel. To do this, set your gross volume and/or your percentage of ‘protected source’ for the reference year to 0. Attention: with a zero declaration you do not receive any digital licence coverage (with izili, the new name of the combined licence of Reprobel), even though digital use of protected work is becoming increasingly important within companies and public institutions. If you make a zero declaration, Reprobel can monitor your digital use of protected work and penalties apply for copyright infringements that are usually a multitude of the normal licence fee.

What is the difference between izili (digital & paper) and a reprography declaration (paper only)?

The difference between the two declaration options is clearly explained on www.izili.be. Consider your declaration option carefully, as checks and penalties are possible.

I compile a paper press review in my company or institution. How do I arrange this?

If you distribute a paper press review (photocopies or prints) in your company or institution, you can arrange this through Reprobel. You tick this box in your client profile, and you then checkout for this on a volume basis (also if you sign up for izili, the new name of the combined licence of Reprobel). Attention: digital press reviews cannot be arranged through Reprobel.

Reprobel helpdesk

How can I contact Reprobel?

For all substantive, technical or legal questions about your declaration, licence agreement or sector agreement, or about the operation of Reprobel, please contact our helpdesk. You can do so via our contact form. This contact form allows us to link your question immediately to your customer file, and to answer open customer questions in a structured and timely manner. You will find this contact form on all of our communication channels (individual letter/mail, www.izili.be, www.reprobel.be and on the online declaration portal).

What do I do in case of technical problems with my portal declaration?

If you get technically stuck on the portal, it is often because you have not yet validated an important intermediate step. If your password does not work, you can reset it via the portal. If the technical problem persists, you can contact our helpdesk via the contact form. You will find this contact form on all of our communication channels (individual letter/mail, www.izili.be, www.reprobel.be and on the online declaration portal).

How can I submit a complaint?

Any complaints about Reprobel can be submitted via our specific complaints procedure. You can find this procedure here. A complaint can also be submitted through our contact form.