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Breakthrough for the dubbing sector in Hungary: royalties distributed to dubbing actors for the first time

For many performers, as FIA members know all too well, the consent given to the incorporation of their performance into an audiovisual fixation frequently entails transferring most or all intellectual property rights to the producer in return for an upfront, flat and final payment. In Hungary, at present, there are at least four noteworthy statutory exceptions to this practice, generating additional revenue for performers: for repeat broadcasts (of a fixation made by and for a broadcasting organisation); for private copying levies; for simultaneous cable retransmission; and for lending and rental. These legal exceptions are a source of precious revenue for performers.

Traditionally most feature films in Hungary, whether screened in cinemas or broadcast on television, are dubbed. Thus, dubbing is a significant source of employment and income for actors in the country. It has been the longstanding wish of dubbing actors, that some of the statutory revenue collected for the use of films, be redistributed to those actors whose vocal performance made these films accessible to, and popular with, local audiences.

 In 2015, with the support of SDS's dubbing section, EJI (the collective rights management society of performers in Hungary) extended its distribution rules to dubbing performances. Statutory use revenue thus far collected and distributed only to those performers whose voice and image constituted the original performance, may now be shared between those "acting" and "voice acting" (dubbing).

Thus, where a film is dubbed in Hungary, 65% of the additional statutory revenue generated goes to the original actors, and 35% to the dubbing performers.

An exception to this rule arises in films where the original cast contributed only by way of voice acting (e.g. animation movies). In such cases, 100% of the statutory revenue collected goes to the dubbing performers.

The database on dubbing performances was created in cooperation with several internet-based fan sites, which proved diligent and reliable sources of information on the casting of dubbing performers over the past two to three decades.

Distribution data shows that in 2016, 258 million HUF (some 90.000 €) was distributed to 2.259 dubbing actors.