What are RRO’s?

Reproduction Rights Organisations called? RROs began in the 1980s in response to the need to licence wide-scale photocopying, providing legal access to scientific and cultural printed works. RROs licence reproduction of copyright protected material whenever it is impractical for rights holders to act individually. They are set up and governed by rights holders, creators and publishers. RROs derive their authority from national legislation and/or from contracts with rights holders.

How does an RRO manage copyrights?

The main task of an RRO is to licence reproduction rights including ordinary photocopying on behalf of rights holders. With technological development, some rights holders have extended the rights and uses RROs can licence on their behalf to cover other mass uses resulting in either a physical or a digital copy.

Any collective management organisation, including RROs, deals with the following tasks:

Monitoring where, when and by whom works are being used

Negotiating with users or their representatives

Granting licences against appropriate remuneration and under good conditions

Collecting remuneration; and

Distributing it to the rights holders

Without good legislation there is little room for an RRO to operate; to licence copying and collect remuneration for authors and publishers.

It is therefore of paramount importance that legislation provides for a solid and unambiguous basis, to the benefit of rights holders and users alike. All different options should be founded on the following main principles:

They should guarantee at least equitable remuneration to authors and publishers.

They should be easy for users to comply with.

There are different models of RRO operation. These models are all described in the IFRRO WIPO joint publication on Collective Management in Reprography.

How do RRO’s operate?

RROs obtain licensing authority from mandates given by domestic and foreign rights holders. Mandates from foreign rights holders can also be derived through bilateral agreements with RROs in other countries, based on the principles of reciprocal representation and national treatment, as provided for in the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions. According to the principle of national treatment, there is no discrimination between domestic and foreign rights holders. Each RRO collects and distributes photocopy royalties on behalf of foreign rights holders in the same way that it does on behalf of its domestic rights holders.

What are the benefits for the user of reprographic works?

RROs offer easy legitimate access to works. RROs do not only increase awareness of copyright by governments, users and rights holders but also stimulate the creation of new intellec¬tual work which in return contributes to the economic growth of a nation.

Do RRO’s offer any benefits for Rightsholder?

RROs benefit Authors and Publishers, Creative potential. RROs do not only increase awareness of copyright by governments, users and rights holders but also stimulate the creation of new intellec¬tual work which in return contributes to the economic growth of a nation.

Why should I pay license fees, Is the information not free?

The royalties collected by RROs find their way back to the rights’ owners, the people who have, through their mental efforts, created the intellectual property. Without reimbursement, they have little incentive to go on creating, and there would be no information. In any case, no photocopied page is free: you pay for the paper, the ink, the toner and the use of the machine. When you pay a copyright fee as well, you also pay for the content – arguably the most valuable part of the photocopied page.

How much should I pay if I want to reproduce a work?

Licensing fees differ depending on the work usage and where the work is used – please contact COSBOTS for a tariff that suits your need at www.cosbots.com/contact.

I want to photocopy a chapter from a book for my own personal and private use, do I need to pay licensing fees?

No. There are provisions in the copyright Act under the fair dealing section for copying material for own study or research or private use without a need to seek permission from the copyright owner or to pay.

Do I need to permission to make amends to an existing work?

If you changed the introduction of a song, or perhaps the accompaniment, the tune will still be the same. The same goes for visual works of art – you will still require permission when creating a derivative work.

What should I do if I want to republish a book electronically?

The owner of the copyright in a literary work or published edition retains all rights, including the right to create a digital edition. If you own the copyright in the work, you can go ahead. However, if you want to create a digital edition of a work and you are not the owner of the copyright, you must get permission from the copyright owner.

Do books that are out of print still protected under copyright?

‘Out of print’ does not necessarily mean ‘out of copyright’. Copyright lasts for 50 years after the death of the author. In addition, please remember that there are two copyrights in every published page, and while the author may own copyright in the content, the publisher owns copyright in the published edition, or the typographical arrangement on the page. Copyright in the published edition lasts for 50 years from the end of the year in which the work was first published.

What are photographs, drawings, graphs and maps?

These are all defined as ‘artistic works’ in the Copyright Act, and are copyright protected.

Are images and pictures on the internet protected under copyright?

The image is created by someone, who has copyright in his/her work. The owner of the website may have a license to use the image – but that license does not extend to people who visit the site, unless it clearly says so. Consider the possibility that the image may have been placed on the Internet without the permission of the copyright owner.

Can I use photographs of out-of-copyright paintings that I find on the internet for free?

Copyright in a photograph lasts for 50 years from the date that the photograph is made or made public. Digital photography has been around for less than 50 years, so it is safe to assume that any digital version of a photograph on the Internet is copyright protected. The copyright owner who created the digital version of the original work has copyright in a photograph and has every right to expect compensation for the use of the work unless explicitly placed it in the public domain.

When must I pay royalties for a theatrical work?

Under all circumstances, even for charity performances and dress rehearsals with an audience. Any unauthorized performance is illegal. There is a simple rule: if there is an audience (paying or not), it is a public performance and you must pay royalties.

Is it ok to alter or adapt a play or book?

You need to obtain written permission before you alter, translate or adapt a play, or create a play from an existing book, story or film. This can be a very long process, and the owners of the copyright have every right not to grant permission.

Is it ok to renew and modernize a play or theatrical piece?

This is the same as adapting the show – and entirely at the discretion of the rights holder. You need to request permission in writing before any modifications are made.

Why do I need permission to adapt a story/novel/film for the stage?

The copyright owner has the exclusive right to make, or authorize the making of, an adaptation of their works, e.g. the creation of a translation, or stage play. Secondary works (such as a film based on a novel) are also copyright protected.

Can I perform an extract or shortened version of the show without paying royalties?

No, you will need to get permission in advance as not all authors permit the use of extracts, and you will still need to pay royalties.

If I bought the script or got it off the internet, does this mean performance rights and permission to perform are automatically included and free?

No. Being in possession of the material does not grant an automatic right to perform a play or a musical.

Do I need to pay royalties for shows that do not attract any attendance fees for tickets?

Yes, because royalties pay the creators of the work for their work. By paying royalties you are giving an author income, acknowledging that they created the work.

How does a blanket license work?

Blanket license gives a user permission to photocopy from any publication in the RROs repertoire, within the limits of agreement. It is commonly used in photocopying licenses that cover large sectors and usually is on annual basis.

What happens to authors in an educational institution such as lecturers or students creating most of the work for the educational institution?

The institution has to have an IP policy or employment contract.

If I have written a book. How do I register my copyright?

Copyright arises automatically. In other words, the ideas you express on the page or the computer screen become your intellectual property as you set them down in material form.

How much can I expect to earn from royalties?

Royalty fees differ for each work and it is based on usage and the price charges on that usage.