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