What should I do in order to have my work protected?
The author’s right on a work arises from itself, without that you have to accomplish
any formalities. Consequently, a registration is not necessary in order to protect your
work. Pay attention: if you register a work, it does not mean necessarily that it is
protected. A work can only be protected by copyright when it is sufficiently concrete
and original. Only a court can judge about this.
Ideas are not protected by the law. The fact that you set an idea in a registration
does not mean that you may monopolize an idea. However, this does not mean that
other people with whom you have discussed the idea confidentially, may simply
exploit it without your approval. This can be considered as an unlawful act. In such
an event, a registration can serve as evidence.
Others can base themselves on a same idea in order to create another work. Taking
over somebody else’s work, however, is not allowed. In this case, there can be a
matter of plagiarism. In this context also, a registration can serve as evidence.
What is a registration?
A registration is a simple way of setting the date of creation and of establishing your
capacity of author of the work. Besides, you can demonstrate with all possible
means (documents, witnesses,…) that you have created the work. It is better that
you register your work as quick as possible before you show it to third parties. When
you hand over a copy of your work to third parties (i.e. producers), it is
recommended that they date a copy and sign it as evidence of receipt.
Which works can I register via OnlineDepot?
You can register all kinds of works: audiovisual works (a.o. screenplay, synopsis,
concept, format, film script for direction, storyboard), literary works (a.o. manuscript,
text), theatre works (a.o. theatre play, description of scenography), musical works
(a.o. lyrics, composition).
Can I also register pictures and videos via OnlineDepot?
Yes, an illustration of your registration by way of a picture or film is possible.
What does a registration via OnlineDepot cost?
Registration is FREE OF CHARGE. You do not have to be a SABAM member.
Do I have to be a member of SABAM in order to register via OnlineDepot?
No, you do not have to be a SABAM member. But if you wish to receive further
information about membership, please take contact with firstname.lastname@example.org
How long is a registration via OnlineDepot valid?
The registration is valid during five years. An extension costs 10 Euro and is again
valid during five years. The author automatically receives an e-mail mentioning the
registration’s expiration 6 months before the expiry date and 3 months before the
expiry date. The removal occurs afterwards automatically and is definitive.
How do I know when my registration via OnlineDepot is expiring?
The author automatically receives an e-mail mentioning the registration’s expiration
6 months before the expiry date and 3 months before the expiry date. If a
registration is not extended, it is then automatically removed. This removal is
Is the extension of a registration via OnlineDepot also free of charge?
No, the extension of a registration costs 10 Euro per registration and is again valid
during five years.
How should I request a piece of evidence of registration?
You can order a certificate online. A certificate costs 30 Euro. You can use this evidence of
registration in a legal matter or in case of a dispute.
How can the OnlineDepot be preserved from fraud?
In order to preserve the system from any fraud, two digital check numbers will be
calculated for each registered file: MD5 and SHA256. The method for calculating
these two check numbers has been properly documented, is extremely safe and has
been accepted worldwide as a standard. The probability that two files with a different
content would generate identical check numbers is zero. Each modification of these
files’ content, whatever small, results in completely different check numbers. These
check numbers will be sent by e-mail to the applicant at the registration’s
confirmation. The confirmation e-mail will moreover be signed digitally in accordance
with the RSA-principle. Each modification of the e-mail’s content will result in an
invalid signature check. This digital signature is unique per e-mail and cannot be
forged. The combination of the check numbers and the digital signature guarantees
the files’ authenticity.
Is the registration via OnlineDepot also valid abroad?
Most of the countries have signed the Convention of Bern. Hence, author’s right
arises automatically in all those countries. In case the work could be used (or
copied) in the United States, it is recommended to also register it with the Copyright
Office (www.copyright.gov) so that you can recover lawyer’s expenses from the
possible counterfeiter. You can also put the symbol © on your work, followed by the
name of the copyright’s owner and the year of the first publishing. This notice is
necessary in order to protect your work in the countries that are affiliated with the
Universal Copyright Convention and that are no part of the Convention of Bern. It
concerns mainly a series of developing countries.
What is I-depot?
It is possible to register formats, texts, drawings, etc., on-line or with a special
envelope at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). The effect of i-depot
can be compared with that of a registration at SABAM. You will find on the BOIP
website (www.boip.int) the envelope, the on-line registration as well as detailed
If the work that I have registered is exploited or broadcast on TV later on, will I
then receive royalties?
Registration does not mean that you will receive royalties in case of broadcasting,
performing or reproduction of your work. Therefore, you have to be a (associate)
member of SABAM and to declare your work at SABAM by way of a declaration form
(on paper or on-line). If you aren’t a member yet and you wish to receive further
information, please then take contact with SABAM via email@example.com.
Does SABAM take steps on my behalf in case of a dispute or conflict with
regard to the registered work?
No, a registration does not mean that SABAM will take legal steps on your behalf
and on your account in case of a dispute or a conflict regarding the registered work.
You will be yourself responsible for this.
What about the protection of privacy?
users and also sees to it that the personal information that you provide to us is dealt
with in all confidentiality. This information can only be consulted by SABAM staff
members or representatives who need that information in order to fulfil their function.
We will use your data only in order to carry out the registration as easily and
smoothly as possible.
SABAM does not pass on personal data to third parties except if you give us your
express authorization to that end, or in order to meet the legal conditions that that
are imposed to SABAM.