How did you know I was owed money?

In relation to BBC cable retransmission revenue, the BBC supplies us with cast lists for programmes shown on BBC1,2, 3 and 4 and CBeebies and CBBC. We go through these one by one and enter production and performer details onto our database. If you appear as a contributor to a BBC programme under an Equity contact, you will be eligible for a BECS payment.

In the case of performers’ rights revenue, we negotiate with other European collecting societies to secure a share of their income for British productions. Most collecting societies send a list of programmes that we are going to receive money for.  We obtain cast information for each title and enter this onto our database. As accurate cast lists are not always available, we often consult production companies or refer to DVDs to ensure payments reach all those who appear on the credits.

I received money for a BBC programme. Why does this come from BECS and not via my agent as usual?

The money we pay out for cable and satellite retransmissions of BBC programmes is non-contractual.  Equity originally negotiated yearly lump sum payments for retransmissions in Belgium, the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland as compensatin for those who worked under an Equity/BBC contract.  Normal royalties and residuals coming via your agent are unaffected by these ‘additional’ payments.

You may also receive private copying, rental or communication to the public remuneration for BBC programmes when they are used in other European countries. ‘Allo Allo’, ‘Coupling’ and ‘I Claudius’ are examples of such programmes.

I did a TV series that has been released on DVD. Will BECS collect any money for this?

BECS does not collect revenue for video and DVD programme sales because there is no performers’ remuneration right covering this use of your work. What you get for DVDs is determined by the terms of your initial contract, which will normally be governed by a collective agreement between Equity and the producer. If you have a query on this matter, we advise that you speak to the Recorded Media department at Equity on 020 7670 0249.

How often does BECS send out payments?

BECS has two major distributions of revenue per year in July and December.  In addition, we carry out monthly mini-distributions in the last week of each month.  

Non-contractual monies, which include performers’ rights negotiated by BECS from other European countries and ex-gratia BBC and ITV cable and satellite payments from Equity,  are issued in July.  Contractual monies, for new media services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Sky Player, go out in December. 

What is the difference between BECS and PPL?

PPL deals with sound recordings while BECS deals with film and television broadcasts. If you have ever performed on a record or CD that is played in the UK or overseas, you should register with PPL. Likewise, if you have ever appeared in a TV or film production that could be shown on mainstream European television channels, you should register with BECS. You can join BECS and PPL if you have performed on both sound and audio-visual recordings.

You sent me money for work done a few years ago when i was with an old agent. Do I have to pay the agency commission on it?

If BECS sends a payment to you directly it is probably from a non-contractual source of revenue.  Payment of commission on this to an old or current agent will be determined by your contract/relationship with that particular agent.

Contractual revenue for programmes carried on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 new media platforms – BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, HDTV etc. – is paid directly to the relevant contractual agent.

BBC4 Extra payments result from a change to the Equity/BBC radio agreement and commission may be owed to the relevant agent.

I’ve received a cheque for £125 but class 1 NI was not deducted. Why?

BECS does not make Class 1 NI deductions as the payments we make are not related to a salary.

Do I have to declare my payment if I am receiving benefits?

We believe that BECS income is treated as a subsection of self-employed income. Therefore someone in receipt of benefits may suffer a loss of those benefits as a result of receiving a payment from BECS.