Music is Valuable!

STEF (Composers’ Rights Society of Iceland) 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.

Please note: Music publishers who wish to become members of STEF are advised to send an e-mail to and request a form of Membership Agreement specially tailored to their activities.

STEF's offices are open on weekdays from 10:00-12:00 hrs. and 13:00-15:00 hrs.


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.

The STEF Staff

  • Anja Ísabella Lövenholdt
  • Arnar Freyr Frostason
  • Bergrós Gunnarsdóttir
  • Guðmundur Þór Guðjónsson
  • Guðrún Ásdís Lárusdóttir
  • Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir (CEO)
  • Hanna F. Jóhannsdóttir
  • Helgi Kr. Jakobsson
  • Hreiðar K. Hreiðarsson
  • Magnús Guðmundsson
  • Sindri Magnússon
  • Stefán Hilmarsson


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 11 people, of whom three 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.

Board of Directors / 2022-2024

Board Members
Bragi Valdimar Skúlason (FTT),  Chairman
Páll Ragnar Pálsson (TÍ), Vice Chairman
Eyþór Gunnarsson (FTT)
Hallur Ingólfsson (FTT)
Sigríður Thorlacius (utan félaga)
Sigurður Flosason (FTT)
Þuríður Jónsdóttir (TÍ)

Alternate  Board Members
Snorri Helgason
Hafdís Bjarnadóttir
Samúel J. Samúelsson
Pétur S. Jónsson
Óttarr Proppé
Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson
Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir

Reimbursement of Recording Cost

25% of recording cost for music is 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:

Distribution Rules of STEF

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