The Performing Rights Society of Iceland is a non-profit collective rights management society that administers Icelandic copyright for music creators and publishers whose music is performed in public.
Persons eligible for STEF membership are those who are registered members of STEF's two member organisations: the Icelandic Songwriters' Association-ISA (FTT) and Society of Icelandic Composers (TÍ). Persons who are not members of either of these organisations may also become members of STEF if they authorise STEF to act as their representative. Non-affiliated members (those who are not members of these two organisations) are entitled to select one Board member and two members of the STEF Representative Council, which wields the ultimate authority within STEF, according to its Articles of Association.
According to special certification from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture, STEF is authorised 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 authorised to act as the music creator's representative. This also means that STEF is obliged to allocate the collected royalties to rights holders. STEF disburses royalties to over 1,000 rights holders each year.
STEF's tasks focus on three principal areas:
First, STEF attempts to protect and reinforce intellectual property rights in the field of music. In this area, STEF formulates policy by which its members are bound.
Second, STEF collects royalties for public performance of musical compositions. STEF has concluded contractual agreements with most entities that perform music, such as radio stations, television stations, theatres, movie theatres, shops, hair saloons etc. STEF collects fees from other parties according to its standard tariff. This is a prominent aspect of the association's activities. Several hundred parties pay royalties to STEF.
STEF's third main function is to allocate the collected royalties to the appropriate rights holders after deducting the association's operating expenses. Allocation is made according to information on what works have been performed – for example, on the radio – and an attempt is made to have this information as accurate as possible without incurring immoderate expense in gathering information, so that rights holders ultimately receive the maximum possible royalty allocation.