Private Copying Fees

Manufacturers and importers of copying devices and blank carriers

According to the Decree of the Minister of Culture of 02 June 2003 SAWP has been appointed as a private copying fee collector for all performers from audio and video sector. Sawp is also responsible for the distribution of fees from the audio sector

Every quarter SAWP divides the fees among the following polish organisations:

  1. Association of Folk Performers – STL
  2. the Union of Polish Stage Artists ZASP
  3. the Union of Performing Artists STOART

SAWP also allocates and distributes the fees to foreign collecting societies, to performing artists who assign rights directly to our society as well as to non-associated artists.

In the case of individual artists, the distribution and payment take place at the same time as the distribution of remuneration, i.e. twice a year (June/November)


The extensive exploitation of artistic performances within the framework of permitted personal use adversely affects the financial situation of performers and creators. In order to minimize the effects of royalty-free usage of artistic performances, the legislator has introduced a certain kind of compensation for performers for the use of artistic performances. It is a private copying levy.

The levies do not compensate the illegal distribution of works, they also neither replace nor limit regulations governing infringements of property rights to artistic performances.

The following may be mentioned as the most relevant features of the levies collected by collective management organizations from producers or importers of equipment and blank carriers  used for  copying of artistic performances for own private use:

   – the levies do not constitute remuneration for a specific act of exploitation of the right to artistic performance,

    – performers  do not transfer or license the right to benefit from levies to manufacturers or importers of blank carriers and final purchasers of equipment and carriers or from related rights, they also don’t provide other services related to the levies in question.

    – the levies constitute receivables of a general nature which are intended not to protect the rights of performers but to achieve a certain economic balance by allowing the reproduction of disseminated artistic performances for personal use.

   – the levies are related to the potential capacity to provide copies of artistic performances by the devices or carriers listed in the annexes to the Regulation on categories of these devices and carriers.

  –  the legal relationship between the obliged entity (importers and producers) and the claimant (collective management society) arises irrespective of the will of the parties, once the manufacturer or importer has transferred ownership of the device or carrier that can be used for private copying to the user (final purchaser). There is no agreement between collective management societies and the entities liable to pay levies under Article 20 of the copyright law.

 –  the responsibility of collective management societies for the collection of levies has been formed as a responsibility for the proper performance of the collection, distribution and payment of the levies. It is the collective management society that decides on the key to the distribution of the levies.

Specific information on the categories of equipment and blank carriers, the amount of levies, the method of collecting and distributing the levies, as well as information on collective management organizations designated for collecting and distributing the levies to entitled are contained in the Regulation of the Minister of Culture of 2 June 2003. (Law Journal No. 105, item 991, as amended).