STEF is a non-profit collective rights management society that administers Icelandic and international copyrights for music creators and publishers whose music is performed in public. Mechanical rights are administered by the jointly owned society NCB (Nordisk Copyright Bureau).
According to special certification from the Ministry of Education and Culture, STEF is authorized to collect royalties for performance of music and associated texts that are protected by the Copyright Act, irrespective of whether or not the association has been authorized to act as the music creator’s representative (Extensive collective licensing). This also means that STEF is obliged to allocate the collected royalties to all rights holders, irrespective of their membership as long as STEF can identify their works. STEF disburses royalties to over 2,000 Icelandic rights holders each year. STEF outsources all distribution to foreign right holders to its Swedish sister society, STIM.
STEF was established in 1948 by a group of Icelandic composers led by the composer Jón Leifs. Jón Leifs had few years earlier moved back to Iceland from Germany. During his life as a composer and orchestral director in Germany Jón had gotten to know how performing rights societies worked and brought back with him the idea of establishing such a society in Iceland.
STEF has around 6.700 registered songwriters, a considerable part of them are however deceased, as copyright is valid for up to 70 years after the death of the creator according to Icelandic law (as in most other countries in the world). In these cases, the heirs of the songwriter are entitled to royalties for the performance of the work of the deceased songwriter.
The database of STEF contains over 70.000 registered works, as it is a precondition for allocation of royalties that songwriters register their works with the society. STEF has reciprocal agreements with all major foreign sister societies which safeguard the rights of STEF´s members when their music is performed in their respective countries and at the same time it guarantees foreign right holders royalties for their performances in Iceland.
STEF currently employs nine people, of whom two are part-time employees. Its offices are located at Laufásvegur 40 in Reykjavík where the organization has been since 1968.
Apart from collection of royalties for public performance in Iceland (and abroad through its foreign sister societies), STEF also safeguards copyright for its members and provides them with various services related to their musical works. In this respect, members can come to STEF for advice on concluding agreements with movie producers, advertising agencies and other third parties. STEF is also active in lobbying activities on behalf of its members towards the Icelandic government and parliament and its representatives sit on numerous committees on policy making in this field.
Ownership and Structure
STEF is a non-governmental organization governed by its members. The highest governance body is the Representative Council, consisting of 21 members. 7 of those are elected within a general election (with certain limitation on voting with regards to a minimum distribution of royalties). The rest is nominated by the two affiliated organizations of STEF. That is the Icelandic Society of Authors and Composers (FTT) and the Society of Icelandic Composers (TÍ). The Representative Council elects three members of the Board of Directors while the remaining four are also nominated by the affiliated societies. At least one Board member and three members of the Representative Council must be non-affiliated members of STEF.
STEF’s offices are open on weekdays from 10:00-12:00 hrs. and 13:00-15:00 hrs.
Outside office hours, it is possible to leave a voice message at +354 561-6173. Messages will be answered at the earliest opportunity.
Reception and Treasurer
bjarney (@) stef.is
Registrar and NCB employee
brynja (@) stef.is
Guðný Rósa Gísladóttir
Bookkeeper and NCB employee
gudny (@) stef.is
Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir
Chief Executive Officer
gudrunbjork (@) stef.is
Guðrún Ásdís Lárusdóttir
Sales- and Marketing Director
hrafnkell (@) stef.is
Registrar, computer processing specialist
magnus (@) stef.is
sindri (@) stef.is
stefan (@) stef.is
Board of Directors
Since June 2018
Þórunn Gréta Sigurðardóttir, Chairwoman
Bragi Valdimar Skúlason, Vice Chairman
Jakob Frímann Magnússon
Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson
Páll Ragnar Pálsson
Óttarr Ólafur Proppé
Alternate Board members
Margrét Kristín Sigurðardóttir
Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson
Salka Sól Eyfeld
Articles of Association - STEF
1. Name and address
1.1 The organisation is called the Performing Rights Society of Iceland, abbreviated STEF.
1.2 The address and venue of the organisation are in Reykjavík.
2. Purpose and tasks
2.1 STEF is a copyright society that protects the copyright interests of Icelandic and foreign composers, lyricists, and other holders of copyright for musical compositions and accompanying texts. STEF operates solely as the agent of its members and provides service to them. It does not accumulate assets for its own benefit. STEF is authorised by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture to collect royalties pursuant to the Copyright Act.
2.2 STEF’s principal tasks in accordance with its purpose as described in Article 2.1 are as follows:
- A) STEF shall support and promote the preservation and reinforcement of individual copyright through constant vigilance in this field, shall promote innovation in the field of copyright law, and shall preserve the existence of those rights with every means at its disposal.
- B) STEF grants permission for music performance, collects royalties for such permission, and carries out any and all related tasks, including initiating legal action so as to preserve and protect these interests. In this context, STEF shall seek and conclude contractual agreements with radio stations and other parties that perform music. STEF may set tariffs for public performance of music. Such tariffs are subject to the approval of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
- C) STEF grants permission for the reproduction of music, collects royalties for such permission, and carries out any and all related tasks, including initiating legal action so as to preserve and protect these interests. STEF may entrust the Nordic collections agency for reproduction rights, the Nordisk Copyright Bureau (NCB), with the protection of these interests as its agent.
2.3 STEF is a member of the Collecting Society for Reproduction Rights (FJÖLÍS) and the Collecting Society for Private Copying (IHM), and may join other organisations that may be established in the future for the purpose of collecting royalties and other comparable fees pursuant to the Copyright Act or other legislation.
2.4 STEF engages in communications with parallel organisations representing foreign holders of copyright.
3.1 Member organisations within STEF are the following: the Society of Icelandic Composers (SIC) and the Icelandic Society of Authors & Compsers (ISA). The role of these organisations is, among other things, to protect the interests of composers and other holders of copyright to musical compositions and accompanying texts in collaboration with STEF.
3.2 Membership to STEF member organisations is restricted to active music creators (composers and/or lyricists) or their heirs, who have previously been members of the organisation in question, in accordance with further stipulations in the Articles of Association of those organisations. It is required that all members of either member organisation have granted STEF explicit authority to protect their copyright with respect to musical compositions, as well as other related rights. Provisions to this effect shall be included in these organisations’ Articles of Association, and their boards of directors must ensure that they are enforced. The Articles of Association of the member organisations may not contravene the Articles of Association of STEF in any way.
3.3 In addition to the member organisations, those copyright holders who are not members of those organisations may participate in the Board of Directors and Representative Council according to Articles 4 and 5.
4. Board of Directors and Managing Director
4.1 The Board of Directors of STEF shall comprise seven members: two members and two alternates appointed by the Society of Ice-landic Composers; two members and two alternates appointed by the Icelandic Songwriters’ Association; and three members and three alternates appointed by the Representative Council of STEF, according to Article 4.5.
4.2 The chairmen of the Society of Icelandic Composers and the Icelandic Songwriters’ Association shall be ex officio members of the Board, and the deputy chairmen of those organisations shall serve as their alternates. Furthermore, after the general election of representatives to the Representative Council of STEF pursuant to Articles 5.2 and 5.3 has taken place, each of the two organisations shall appoint one member and one alternate to serve on the Board for a term of two years. Member organisations’ representatives on the Board of STEF shall all be active music creators.
4.3 The Society of Icelandic Composers and the Icelandic Society of Authors & Composers shall appoint the chairman and vice-chairman of the Board of STEF from among their representatives on the Board; cf. Article 4.2. The chairman and vice-chairman shall always represent different member organisations and shall be appointed alternately by them for a term of two years.
4.4 Only those who meet the eligibility requirements for election to the Representative Council of STEF pursuant to Article 5.4 may serve as members or alternate members of the Board.
4.5 At the Annual General Meeting, the STEF Representative Council shall elect three members of the Representative Council to serve as Board members for a term of two years. At least one of these persons shall be a person who is not a member of either member organisation. Before the election takes place, candidates for election to the Board shall be solicited. If three persons declare their candidacy, they shall be considered automatically elected. Otherwise, election shall take place by secret ballot whereby each member of the Representative Council shall be given one ballot. Each member shall write the names of one or two candidates on his or her ballot. If a member votes for two candidates, at least one of them shall come from outside the STEF member organisations. If a member votes for two candidates, each of them shall receive one vote, and if the member votes for only one, that candidate shall also receive one vote. If the foregoing instructions are violated, the ballot shall be considered invalid unless it is blank. If two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes, lots shall be drawn to determine which shall be considered the lawfully elected Board member. It shall always be ensured, however, that at least one of the three Board members comes from outside the member organisations. Three alternate Board members shall be elected in the same manner, each for a term of two years.
4.6 The Board of Directors directs the activities of STEF in accordance with the decisions of the Representative Council pursuant to Article 5.5. The Board shall attempt to ensure that the organisation and activities of STEF are in good and proper order at all times. Board meetings shall be called with suitable prior notice when the Chairman of the Board decides or when three Board members request a meeting.
4.7 A Board meeting shall be deemed lawful if the majority of Board members are in attendance. The number of votes shall determine the outcome of matters subjected to a vote at Board meetings. If two or more Board members consider that a decision of the Board of Directors is in violation of the law or the rules governing STEF’s activities, they may seek a ruling from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture on the matter in question. Such an appeal shall not postpone the implementation of the decision; cf., however, Article 4.8.
4.8 The Board of Directors shall engage the Managing Director of STEF. The Managing Director shall engage other staff members. The Managing Director directs the day-to-day operations of STEF in accordance with the decisions of the Board and the Representative Council. If the Managing Director considers that a decision of the Board of Directors or the Representative Council is in violation of the law or the rules governing STEF’s activities, he or she may refuse to implement that decision but must refer the matter to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture for a final ruling as soon as possible. The Managing Director has the right and the duty to attend meetings of the Board of Directors and Representative Council and shall have the right to speak and present proposals at those meetings.
4.9 The signatures of four Board members are sufficient to obligate STEF.
5. Representative Council
5.1 The Representative Council of STEF shall comprise 21 members: four Board members who are appointed by the member organisations pursuant to Article 4.2; five members and five alternates who are also appointed by each of the member organisations; and seven members and seven alternates who are elected pursuant to Articles 5.2 and 5.3. Representative Council members who are appointed by member organisations shall all be active music creators.
5.2 Seven members of the STEF Representative Council shall be elected for a term of two years in a general election taking place in March every other year. At least three of the seven representatives that are elected in this matter shall come from outside the STEF member organisations. All rights holders who have assigned STEF the authority to represent their interests shall have voting rights, irrespective of whether they are members of either member organisation or come from outside the member organisations, provided that they have received a minimum of ISK 120 thousand from STEF in the past three years. Music creators or other rights holders shall control their own voting rights even though they have assigned the protection of their copyright to another party unless the rights holder is a recognised music publisher. If the creator or rights holder is deceased, his or her heirs or their representative who is registered as the recipient of payments according to the STEF register of rights holders shall control the entire voting rights on behalf of the deceased. An advertisement for candidates shall be published no later than 1 February of the year that the election is to take place, and the deadline for declaring candidacy shall be four weeks. If seven persons declare their candidacy by the deadline, they shall be considered automatically elected. If the number of candidates is greater than seven, voting shall take place as is provided for in Article 5.3. If fewer than seven persons declare their candidacy by the deadline, the deadline shall be extended by one week.
5.3 A three-person election board selected by the STEF Board of Directors shall administer the general election and shall rule on all matters of doubt or dispute in connection with it. Each rights holder with voting rights according to Article
5.4 Only those who meet the requirements for voting and controlling voting rights pursuant to Article 5.2. are eligible for election to the Representative Council and for Council membership. Rights holders with substantial interests at stake as STEF counterparties with respect to royalties are not eligible for election to the Representative Council, nor are those who have been found guilty of major copyright violations or other infractions against STEF.
5.5 The Representative Council holds the ultimate authority regarding the affairs of STEF.
5.6 The Annual General Meeting of the Representative Council shall be held in May of each year. The following matters shall be addressed at the meeting:
- The report of the Board of Directors and the Managing Director for the previous year.
- Approval of the audited accounts of STEF for the previous year.
- Announcement of the election of the Board of Directors for the coming operational year; cf., however, Item 4.
- The election, every other year, of three members to the STEF Board of Directors; cf. Article 4.5.
- The election of two examiners and two alternates for the coming operational year. One of the examiners shall be a member of the Society of Icelandic Composers, and the other shall be a member of the Icelandic Society of Authors & Composers.
- The election of the chairman of the Representative Council.
- Other business.
5.7 Other meetings of the Representative Council shall be called at the decision of the Board, or at the request of the examiners or three Council members.
5.8 The Board of STEF shall call meetings of the Representative Council in writing and shall specify the agenda in the call to the meeting. The Annual General Meeting shall be called with two weeks’ notice, and other meetings shall be called with one week’s notice.
5.9 The chairman of the Representative Council shall preside over the Council’s meetings. No business not specified in the call to the meeting will be addressed without the approval of 4/5 of the attendees. The number of votes shall determine the outcome of matters subjected to a vote at meetings of the Representative Council unless otherwise specified in these Articles of Association.
6. Financial matters
6.1 STEF’s revenues shall be disposed of as follows:
- A) Gross revenues shall be allocated first towards the payment of public levies, if any, and then towards the payment of STEF’s total operating expenses.
- B) A contribution totalling 10% of the remaining amount shall be paid to the STEF Music Culture Fund, in accordance with further decisions taken by the Annual General Meeting of the Representative Council. It is permissible to allocate capital from that Fund for the operation of the STEF member organisations. Allocations to the two member organisations must be in equal amounts.
- C) The remainder shall be divided among those holding the performance rights for the works for which STEF collects royalties, in accordance with the rules set by STEF pursuant to the rules of parallel organisations in countries that are parties to the Berne Convention. In the interest of efficiency, these rules may provide for a simplification of the rules for royalty allocations to Icelandic and foreign rights holders in accordance with established custom in such matters.
6.2 Comments and complaints concerning royalty allocations by STEF shall be sent to the office of the organisation within three months of the date the allocation notice was sent to the rights holder. STEF is not obliged to consider comments and complaints received after that time.
6.3 STEF’s accounting year shall be the calendar year.
6.4 STEF’s annual accounts shall be audited each year by a chartered auditor and sent to its elected examiners, who shall then send the accounts to the Board of Directors with their comments. The annual accounts are then submitted to the Annual General Meeting of the Representative Council for approval, together with other financial statements for STEF. Representative Council members who so request may receive a copy of the annual accounts the day before the Annual General Meeting.
6.5 Subsidies from funds related to STEF, including funds based on agreements between STEF and other parties, shall be granted in accordance with the nature and objectives of the projects concerned, irrespective of the recipient’s membership to member organisations. Subsidies shall be awarded on professional grounds.
7. Other provisions
7.1 These Articles of Association, STEF’s rules on allocation of royalty payments, and the administrative structure and objectives of the funds specified in Article 6.5 may only be amended at an Annual General Meeting of the Representative Council attended by at least 50% of representatives, provided that 3/4 of attendees approve the amendment. A proposed amendment to the Articles of Association that receives 2/3 of votes cast at the Annual General Meeting shall be considered approved if that same proposal is presented at the Annual General Meeting one year later and also receives 2/3 of votes cast at that meeting. Otherwise, the proposal shall be considered defeated.
7.2 STEF shall therefore be dissolved only if the dissolution is approved at a meeting of the Representative Council in accordance with the rules specified in Article 7.1. In that instance, that meeting shall dispose of the organisation’s assets and take other necessary action pertaining to dissolution.
7.3 These Articles of Association shall take effect forthwith.
Changes made to the structure of the Board and Representative Council of STEF since the previous Articles of Association took effect, including changes concerning the disposal of business by those bodies, will take effect at the Annual General Meeting in the spring of 2010. A general election wherein seven representatives to the STEF Representative Council are elected for a term of two years shall take place in March 2010, as is provided for in greater detail in Articles 5.2 and 5.3.
The effective date of the provision in Article 7.1, which states that the Articles of Association and other documents and structural elements mentioned therein shall be amended if approved with 2/3 of votes cast at two consecutive Annual General Meetings of the Representative Council, shall be deferred so that these items may first be amended in the specified manner at the Annual General Meeting in 2012, subject to approval of the amendments at the Annual General Meeting for the prior year.
Approved at the Annual General Meeting of STEF, 16 May 2009.
Auditor's Annual Report and Financial Statement
Grants and Funds
Reimbursement of Recording Cost
Reimbursement of recording cost
25% of recording cost for music refundable
Reimbursements are offered for recording costs for music incurred in Iceland. Producers can apply for reimbursements from the State Treasury of 25% of the costs incurred in the recording of music in Iceland. When more than 80% of the total recording cost is incurred in Iceland, the reimbursement is calculated on the basis of the total recording cost incurred within the European Economic Area.
Recording costs refers to the costs enumerated in in Article 6 of the Act on temporary reimbursement of recording cost. Hourly studio rates for recording, wage expenses incurred during the recording for hired performers, producers, engineers or studio personnel, post-production (including sound mixing and mastering), travel and transport costs for musical instruments and lead performers, own salary, c.f. Article 7. of law No. 110/3016. In order to apply for reimbursement for recording cost of phonograms, the phonograms have to contain 30 min of music, not more than 18 month passed between the release of the oldest phonogram until the most recent phonogram was released, no more than six months have elapsed since the release of the latest phonogram until application was submitted to the Ministry. Hourly studio rates for recording.
More information in English as well as an application form can be found here:
The royalties that the Performing Rights Society of Iceland (STEF) pay to composers, lyricists, and other right holders of musical works shall be governed by the Icelandic Copyright Act and the following distribution rules.
Article 2 – General Principles of Distribution
The license fees that STEF collects for the performance of musical works (less operating expenses and other cost related to the operations of the society), including contributions to the STEF Music Culture Fund, shall be distributed to right holders retroactively based on the performance of their works of music during the year in which the fees accrue.
Account shall be taken of the following views when distributing royalty payments as appropriate:
- The cost of collecting royalties in the field in question, so that allocations are relatively higher where cost is lower.
- The proportion of protected music in the material performed, e.g. in a program broadcast by a radio station or in a concert, so that higher payments are distributed when the proportion is higher.
Article 3 – Contributions to the STEF Music Culture Fund
Contributions to the STEF Music Culture Fund may amount to up to 10% of collected license fees, less cost, as decided at the Annual General Meeting of STEF each time.
Article 4 – Distribution Categories
Royalty payments pursuant to Article 2 shall be distributed in as close compliance with the income collected for the performance of each musical work as possible. Distribution of royalties is made by the following categories, as further stipulated in Article 5:
- Broadcasted music, i.e. radio and television.
- Concerts held by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra.
- Symphonic concerts other than specified in Item 2, together with chamber and choir concerts.
- Concerts featuring folk music, jazz and other popular music.
- Dances and gatherings other than concerts.
- Background music, such as in restaurants and shops.
- Music during church ceremonies.
- Music in movie theatres and in films.
- Music in theatres and in plays.
- Music on the Internet.
- Premiere of musical works.
Article 5 – Distribution Based on Available Information
The license fees collected for public performance of musical work are processed for distribution on the basis of information that STEF receives from music users. Music users are obliged to submit to STEF detailed music reports on all broadcasting in radio and television, live performances, stage music, music in movie theatres and on-line streaming and downloads as described in more detail in Article 5.1 – 5.5. For cost reasons, however, no reporting is required for certain performances of recorded music.
The distribution of royalties for performances of music which STEF receives no information from the respective music users such as in category 5 and 6, is as a general rule based on the reporting of broadcasted music in radio. If additional information on music use within these categories can be obtained without unreasonable costs, by using samples of musical works that are performed, distribution in these categories can also be based upon such information. Samples can e.g. be obtained from bands performing at dances and other gatherings and from companies that stream music to shops and restaurants. Decisions on the use of samples shall be taken by the Board of STEF. If samples have been obtained, they count for half of the distribution and reports on broadcasted music in radio for half. Distribution in these instances should correspond to real music use as accurately as possible.
Samples shall be randomly selected and an effort should be made to ensure that right holders are not subjected to discrimination beyond that which derives from such a distribution method.
5.1 Radio and Television
Distribution within this category is based on the license fees collected from each broadcasting company and reports on the broadcasting of music submitted by the same company according to contracts between STEF and the respective company. Distribution related to each radio and television station and, if appropriate, each radio and television channel shall be made separately. In the case of radio or television being broadcasted within a limited geographical area and the license fees collected being insignificant, the distribution shall be based on musical reports submitted by other broadcasters of a similar nature.
5.2 Live Performances
Distribution is based on the amount of license fee collected from each concert and the musical report submitted by the respective concert promoter, or alternatively, the respective artists or right holders. In the case that STEF has signed a contract with a venue which pays a fixed sum of license fees per year and the license fee of each event taking place there being insignificant, the distribution shall be based on musical reports, submitted by the respective venue, or alternatively, the respective artists or right holders.
In the event of concerts dedicated to a single band or performer and if the number of guests exceeds 1000, 90% of the royalty payments of the concert shall be paid to the right holder of the music performed by the band or performer. The right holders of music that is performed by other bands or performers, such as “warm-up bands”, receive 10% as their share of royalty payments from the concert.
5.3 Stage Music
Distribution is based on the license fees collected from each theatre or other stage music promoters and musical reports submitted by the same promoter according to contracts between STEF and the respective promoter.
5.4 Film Music
Distribution in respect of cinema films being performed at movie theatres is based on information from box offices. Distribution in respect of films being performed in aeroplanes or other public venues is based on musical reports submitted by such venues.
Distribution in respect of public performance of music on the Internet is based on license fees collected from each service providers on the Internet and musical reports from the same provider. Royalties in respect of downloads of music on the Internet (mechanical reproduction rights) are distributed by Nordic Copyright Bureau.
5.6 Premiere of Musical Works
There is a special distribution for premiere of new works. Work is premiered when a new work has been registered by a member of STEF and it can be shown that it has been performed in Iceland. Members of foreign societies can also receive distribution for premiered work as long as they are performed for the first time in the world in Iceland. Each composer is responsible for notifying such a performance to STEF.
Article 6 – Registration of Works
Works are registered in STEF´s database in accordance with work notifications submitted by the respective right holders. A work is only eligible for royalties’ distribution if an appropriate work notification has been filed. Principally, only one work notification, duly signed by all right holders, shall be submitted to STEF for each work. A separate work notification must be submitted for all versions of the work.
STEF may at its discretion accept a work notification as a basis for retroactive distribution for up to four years, if the right holder can satisfactorily prove that the work was not registered due to negligence on the part of another right holder or to external circumstances.
A work notification may only be amended by a new work notification signed by all the signatories of the original work notification.
Copyright vested in a work is independent of STEF´s registration of the work.
STEF assumes no liability and provides no warranty for damage that may be suffered by any party in royalty distributions or in the protection of copyright as a result of incorrect or incomplete work notification.
Right holders may only inspect registration of their own works.
Article 7 – Division of Royalty Payments between Right Holders
Royalty payments for the performance of a musical work as well as mechanical reproduction royalties shall be divided into up to 12 equal parts. Those who are entitled to compensation for the performance of a musical work shall each receive a specified portion of the payments for the performance as is specified below, unless another agreement has been reached:
|Work without text||12||–||–|
|Work with text, if lyricist is unknown or does not enjoy copyright protection||8||–|| –
|Arranged work without text **
|Arranged work with text, if lyricist is unknown or does not enjoy copyright protection**||6||2|| –
|Work composed for previously existing text||8||–|| 4
|Arranged work composed for previously existing text **||6||2|| 4
|Arranged work without text, if composer is unknown or does not enjoy copyright protection***||–||3||–|
|Text with work, if composer is unknown or does not enjoy copyright protection||–||–||6|
|Text with arranged work, if composer is unknown or does not enjoy copyright protection||–||2||6|
|Work and text, composed at the same time or text composed for previously existing work *||6||–||6|
|Work and text, composed at the same time, arranged **||4||2||6|
*When the work and the text are composed at the same time, the composer and the lyricist, and as appropriate the arranger, shall notify STEF to this effect on forms provided for this purpose and specify the division.
**Division of shares between composer and arranger shall be agreed upon by them. In general, the norm is 2/12 shares for the arranger, which is deducted from the shares of the composer. In exceptional cases, when the arrangement is highly complicated, the arranger can receive 3/12 shares, with the consent of the composer.
***For more detail, see the rules of STEF for arrangements of folksongs.
Article 8 – Distribution of Royalties to Members of Other Societies
Royalty payments to right holders who are members of foreign collective management societies shall be distributed, through the intermediation of the Swedish sister society, STIM, in accordance with the reciprocal agreements made by STEF and the respective societies. Such distribution shall, follow the same rules as distribution to right holders who are members of STEF, as set out in Articles 2 through 7 above. Payment of royalties to foreign right holders shall takes place at least once a year, in the same way as distribution is done to right holders that are members of STEF, at a date decided by the Board of Directors of STEF.
Article 9 – Other Distributions
9.1 Distribution of Mechanical Reproduction Royalties
Nordisk Copyright Bureau (NCB), a Nordic-Baltic collective management society, collects and distributes mechanical reproduction royalties to members of STEF, according to Representation Agreement between STEF and NCB.
9.2 Distribution of Royalties Received from Other Societies.
Foreign collective management societies which represent and administer the rights of members of STEF according to reciprocal agreements with distribute to STEF royalties for Icelandic music repertoire performed in their territory. The timing of these distributions varies by societies.
9.3 Non-Identified Works
STEF does it outmost to identify reported works. This is done by matching of reports against the STEF database, both automatically and manually. If the work is still unidentified the following procedure takes place:
- If the author is known he/she is contacted and a registration of the work takes place.
- The work is manually matched against the Nord-Doc database and other sources on the Internet.
- In case of no match, the unidentified works are added to a list of unidentified works which is reviewed quarterly, i.e. before every distribution. Every work is added and no threshold on royalties is applied.
Royalties paid for use of musical works that STEF is not able to identify and royalties that are withheld because of the minimum rule set out in Article 10, are distributed proportionally to identified works.
Article 10 – Payment of Royalties
Payment of royalties takes place at least once a year at dates decided by the Board of Directors of STEF.
Royalties shall be paid to a bank account according to instructions from the respective right holder. Each right holder is responsible for notifying STEF of changes regarding his or her bank details.
In the event that royalty payments to right holders do not reach a minimum decided by the Board of Directors, the payment will be added to the next year’s payment for up to four years, after which it shall lapse.
Royalty income is taxed under the Icelandic Income Tax Act before payable to the respective right holder.
The Board of Directors can decide, for purposes of efficiency, to distribute payments for the performance and other use of a specific work or works to a limited group of right holders. In instances involving the heirs of a composer or lyricist, the Board may thus decide to distribute payments to the joint agent of the heirs.
Article 11 – Complaints
Right holders may submit comments or complaints about the distribution within three months following the date they are notified of it, in order for them to receive an additional allocation of royalties in the following supplementary distribution. Otherwise, the right holder must wait the next distribution for any corrections. However, no comments or complaints may be submitted if two years have elapsed since the distribution took place. STEF shall withhold a reasonable amount of its annual income to meet claims pursuant to this Article.
Article 12 – Disputes
The Board of Directors of STEF shall rule on all disputes concerning the interpretation of these rules. The decision of the Board may be referred to the Representative Council of STEF for a final ruling.
Article 13 – Effective Date
These rules, which replace the distribution rules previously in effect from May 7, 2011, takes effect 1 January 2012 and shall apply to the distribution of revenue collected as of that date.
So approved at a General Meeting of STEF on 13 December 2011 with amendments of a General Meeting on May 7th 2016.
Distribution of Royalties
In Respect of Private Copying
According to the Icelandic Copyright Act, which defines the right to compensation for private copying as sui generis, the Board of Directors of STEF have made the following decision with regard to the distribution of royalties, received by STEF, from IHM, The Collection Centre for Blank Tape Levy, on behalf of composers, lyricists and other categories of right holders of musical works.
- According to the Icelandic Copyright Act, only right holders, whose works have been broadcasted on radio or television or recorded on audio or video formats for publication, are entitled to remuneration.
- The purpose of the distribution of royalties is to reflect to the extent possible the private copying of works that takes place in Iceland each year.
- Payments to right holders, that are members of STEF, are made through STEF, and is based upon the proportion of musical works by its members being broadcast and recorded for publication in Iceland, compared to other musical works, as further decided by the Board of STEF.
- Payments to right holders, that are members of other collective management societies, are made through their respective societies according to the Board´s decision each year. The distribution of royalties to each such society is based upon the proportion of musical works by its members being broadcast and recorded for publication in Iceland, compared to other musical works, according to reciprocal representation contracts between STEF and the respective society. According to the Icelandic Copyright Act, distribution is only made to right holders, having domicile in countries with similar compensation system for private copying.
The payments from other copyright societies, made to STEF or Nordic Copyright Bureau (NCB), according to reciprocal representation contracts between STEF and the respective societies, are distributed to STEF´s members in proportion of their shares of the performing and mechanical right royalties, without any costs being deducted from such payments.
STEF is a member of NCB (Nordisk Copyright Bureau), an organisation jointly owned by all Nordic copyright associations. STEF has entrusted NCB with the task of protecting the recording rights of parties represented by STEF. NCB protects music creators’ exclusive right to record their music and the associated text and issue it in some form, such as sound recordings, video recordings, etc. When rights holders authorise STEF to protect their interests, this authorisation extends also to protection by NCB. NCB grants permission and collects fees for recording rights and then allocates the appropriate royalties to rights holders.
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Tel: (+354) 561 6173
Office Opening Hours
Week Days from
10:00 til 12:00
& 13:00 til 16:00