Our role

VG Bild-Kunst essentially administers the statutory remuneration claims of image and film authors in Germany. The law provides for statutory remuneration claims in cases where copyright is restricted. These claims thus constitute compensation. Statutory remuneration claims cannot be administered by individual authors – this is the task of the collecting societies.

Bild-Kunst also administers various exclusive rights for visual artists, ensuring the appropriate royalty for the different ways a work of this kind is used, such as when a work of art is portrayed in an art magazine. In this case Bild-Kunst concludes a licensing agreement with the publisher of the magazine.

It is also involved with national and international bodies with the aim of strengthening copyright.

VG Bild-Kunst performs the following tasks for its members:

Collecting and distributing statutory remuneration claims (e.g. private copying royalties, library royalties, etc.)

  • Licensing and enforcing individual rights of visual artists (e.g. resale rights, reproduction rights, broadcasting rights)
  • Strengthening copyright protection both politically and legally (e.g. political lobbying, campaigns to clarify copyright issues)
  • Providing cultural and social funding through its two independent foundations, Stiftung Kulturwerk and Stiftung Sozialwerk
  • Cooperating with all relevant foreign collecting societies involved in the visual sector

An overview of the most important rights that we administer for authors can be found here.

VG Bild-Kunst performs the following tasks for users of the rights:

Rules and regulations

The Articles of Association of Bild-Kunst set out the association’s areas of activity described above and also regulate which body decides on which issues.

The administration agreement is concluded between the rightholder and Bild-Kunst. It regulates the assignment of rights and establishes membership of the association.

The distribution plan fleshes out how the revenue to be distributed to the members is calculated. This is a simple process if Bild-Kunst collects royalties for a particular artist. If, on the other hand, it receives lump sums in payment for certain events – such as the “borrowing of media from libraries” – then consideration must be given to how this money is to be distributed appropriately. Changes to the distribution plan are decided by the General Meeting.

How we see ourselves

Currently more than 60,000 authors, publishers, agencies and film producers have banded together in Bild-Kunst in order to jointly distribute revenue that is generated by statute or contract in a democratically legitimate manner and thereby to support every single individual in their creative activity. In contrast to other collecting societies, Bild-Kunst does so on a non-profit basis and under its own management. That makes Bild-Kunst – quite apart from its core role – the appropriate point of contact for politicians and society when it comes to copyright.

The work of Bild-Kunst is managed from two offices, one in Bonn and the other in Berlin.


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