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Here are the answers to frequently asked questions. If the answer to your question is not answered, please feel free to contact us directly via the form on the contact page.

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.
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.
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).
Yes, an illustration of your registration by way of a picture or film is possible.
Registration is FREE OF CHARGE. You do not have to be a SABAM member.
No, you do not have to be a SABAM member. But if you wish to receive further information about membership, please take contact with onlinedepot@sabam.be

The registration is valid during five years. An extension costs 5 Euro and is again valid during five years. The author automatically receives an e-mail mentioning the registration’s expiration 3 months before the expiry date. SABAM reserves the right to permanently remove expired depots.

The author automatically receives an e-mail mentioning the registration’s expiration 3 months before the expiry date. SABAM reserves the right to permanently remove expired depots.
No, the extension of a registration costs 5 Euro per registration and is again valid during five years.

1. Log into your account and go to the Depot overview. Select the depot from which you wish to obtain a certificate. Click on 'certificate'. Note: certificates can only be created from active depots.  
2. If you do not have any 'Credits certificates', you need to buy them in advance. A credit costs 15 euro and can be ordered online in the Shop. 
3. After clicking 'certificate' you will get a pop-up stating that a certificate costs 1 credit. After confirmation, the 'certificate' button changes to the date of certificate creation. Click on the date to view the certificate.
4. You can now create a PDF of the certificate. Click 'Download PDF' in the top right corner. The PDF file will be downloaded in the browser to the downloads folder.

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.
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.
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 information.
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 onlinedepot@sabam.be.
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.
OnlineDepot applies a Privacy Policy and respects the privacy of all the registration’s 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.

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