Reasonable Remuneration

Artists usually tend to underestimate themselves when it comes to determining the remuneration for their artistic activities. This is especially true in collaboration with foreign producers. This is often due to the fact that artists have no, not even a rough, idea of the financial possibilities of the producer, especially when the producer comes from abroad. They do not have sufficient knowledge of the difficulty, size and sources of the artistic project in which they are to participate. On the other hand, the reason for underestimating themselves may also lie in the fact that they are unable to assess the quality of their work adequately.

Conducting public discussions on the reasonable (usual) remuneration is, however, hard in the Czech conditions with regard to the statutory protection of the free market and competition, which is supervised by the Antitrust Office. Any pricelists (with the exception of pricelists of collecting societies), recommendations of prices (price limits), remunerations and royalties, are formally banned, as they may disrupt the free market and competition. Any public presentation of such prices is therefore inadmissible.

For the above-mentioned reasons, the knowledge of reasonable and usual remuneration is a relatively valuable know-how, which is the domain of experienced agents, art agencies and some specialised lawyers.

Apart from the legal obstacles, trying to estimate the usual size of remuneration is difficult also because it depends on a number of specific factors and criteria that cannot be generalised here. For example, an artist’s long-term media fame plays a crucial role in the negotiations on remuneration. Its final amount may be influenced fundamentally by this fact regardless of whether the artist really performs a high-quality and valuable work for the producer.

It is therefore recommendable for artists to propose remuneration that will counterbalance the time spent working on the project sufficiently, that they will not be ashamed of and that will take into account their work experience in the area of arts, their professional development, career and media fame.