Documentation & Membership

Who can become a member?

To become a member, you must be 

  • an author 
  • a successor in title (heir) or an authorised agent of an author 
  • a picture/photo agency or archive 

Authors can choose between two professional groups:

  • Professional group I – Visual artists (e.g. painter, sculptor), who assign their rights in full.
  • Professional group II – Photographers, caricaturists, designers, who assign those rights that cannot be enforced individually.
  • Professional group III – Film authors and producers of documentary films

Can a minor become a member?

That is possible with the consent of the legal representative. In that case, the administration agreement must be signed by the legal representative. In addition, evidence of artistic activity is needed (e.g. voucher copies, documentary proof of sales).

How do I become a member?

By concluding an administration agreement. The agreement can be requested online. It will be sent to you by post, as the original documents are needed to conclude the agreement.

In addition to this we need appropriate documents that confirm the data in the administration agreement. An appropriate document is for example a copy of the identity card (Attention : not relevant data, in particular the authorisation number, shall in any case be blackened!)

In the case of legal entities (e.g. GbR, photo agency) official documentary evidence of conducting a business is required.

What does membership of VG Bild-Kunst cost?

Membership is free.

Are my works protected by VG Bild-Kunst?

No! It is the Copyright Act that protects works for up to 70 years after the death of author.

How can the administration agreement be terminated?

Notice of termination must be given in writing and signed by the author or the successor in title.

How do I get an author’s number and a password for registration?

After concluding the administration agreement you will be given your author’s number and the registration forms. If we have a valid eMail address, you will also be notified of your password when you conclude the administration agreement.

How do I get a password as a member?

As a member, you can ask for a password by telephone, eMail or by post – provided we have your valid eMail address. The password will be sent to you by post.

How do I register my professional name or pseudonym?

As a general rule, the administration agreement is only concluded under your legal name. If you have your professional name entered in your identity card, then this name may be used in the administration agreement. A corresponding copy of the identity card is then required. If correspondence is generally to be conducted only under your professional name, then a written note to this effect must be attached. Pseudonyms must be notified in writing.

What must I do, if I change my postal address or eMail address?

Any change of postal or eMail address can be notified by telephone or in writing. Those who use the online reporting system can also notify any changes there.

What must I do, if my banking details change?

The Change of bank account must be done in writing form - provided with the signature of the member. As of 01.01.2014 are IBAN and BIC indicates, as they replace the previous account number and sort code.

What has to be done, if the author or the successor in title has died?

To continue or terminate the administration agreement, documentary evidence in the form of a will or inheritance certificate (as a copy) is required. If it is a matter of joint heirs, confirmation signed by all the heirs must be presented, showing who will represent the rights of the community of heirs vis-à-vis VG Bild-Kunst.

Can a company established under civil law (GbR) or a team of artists become a member?

As the German Copyright Act stipulates that copyrights cannot be held by a legal entity, but only by individual persons who have created a work, not only is it necessary for the team, the GbR, etc. to conclude an administration agreement with VG Bild-Kunst, but also for the individual members of the team or group of artists to do so.

What has to be done, if a company established under civil law (GbR) or a team of artists is dissolved?

Dissolution must be notified to us in writing – signed by all members of the GbR or team of artists – so that the administration agreement can be terminated accordingly.

What must I do, if I am liable to VAT?

If you are liable to VAT, in addition to this information we also need to be sent your Tax Number (not the Tax ID Number) in writing.

What must I do, if I am no longer liable to pay VAT?

Please inform us promptly in writing as of what date you are no longer liable to pay VAT.