Who are we?

VG Bild-Kunst is an association. At present we have over 54,000 members: artists, who create works in the visual sector and have organised themselves into a society so that they can jointly administer those copyright claims that cannot be realistically administered individually. The association operates on a non-profit-making basis and the revenue generated from exploiting the assigned usage rights and royalty claims is distributed in full to its members after deducting administrative costs. Legally speaking, VG Bild-Kunst is therefore referred to as a "collecting society" or "Verwertungsgesellschaft" – that is what the abbreviation "VG" in its name stands for.

Social and cultural functions

The association also takes on social and cultural responsibilities for its members. Two independent foundations have been set up specifically for this purpose:

The Stiftung Kulturwerk cultural foundation

The Stiftung Sozialwerk social foundation

Meeting of members and professional groups

The General Meeting is the supreme body of VG Bild-Kunst and decides on the most important issues – in particular, on the rules governing distribution of revenues. Each member has one vote and can be represented. As VG Bild-Kunst brings together a wide range of different artists under one roof, the society is divided into three professional groups (art, photography and film). These groups meet separately before the actual General Meeting to discuss the points due to be voted on.

More about the professional groups

More about the rights of our members

Executive and Board of Directors

From each professional group, five members are elected to the Administrative Council for a term of three years. The Administrative Council controls the work of the Executive Board and in particular decides what copyright claims are to be administered by VG Bild-Kunst and on what conditions.

The business is managed by a four-member Executive Board. One of these members takes on this work on a full-time basis as Chief Executive Officer, while the other three representatives of the professional groups work part-time and contribute the expertise of their respective group. In practice, the three chairpersons of the professional groups in the Administrative Council are also integrated into the work of the Executive Board and seek to increase the influence of the Administrative Council. This means that the meetings of the Executive Board are attended by seven people:

Professional Group I (Art):

Werner Schaub (Member of Executive Board)

Frank Zeidler (Chairman of Professional Group I in the AC)

Professional Group II (Photography):

Frauke Ancker (Member of Executive Board)

Lutz Fischmann (Chairman of Professional Group II in the AC)

Professional Group III (Film):

Rolf Silber (Member of Executive Board)

C. Cay Wesnigk (Chairman of Professional Group III in the AC)


Chief Executive Officer:

Dr. Urban Pappi