Artist pennies running low? There's more than one way to generate a pay cheque! John Shelley explains how illustrators can claim money for secondary image use.

So, what is DACS? DACS stands for the Design and Artists Copyright Society and is a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for visual artists. DACS also runs an Artist's Resale Right service, offers help with copyright licensing, and runs a stock-art service called Artimage.

Why would I need DACS? The organisation is especially known for its annual Payback service, which distributes royalties to artists for secondary use of their images, such as in photocopying and other services.

Who's eligible? Any visual artist with work published in the UK can register for Payback, which is now operated as part of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and distributes funds from secondary copyright use, chiefly scanning and photocopying of your work.

What does the payment cover?  The annual payment covers illustrations used in books, in magazines, and work for TV. However illustration for commercial print and advertising are not included. Any image that can be identified as yours can be registered, so it's important your work is credited in print!

When and how do I make my claim? The call usually launches in January, but you can register your interest here at any time.

How is my entitlement assessed?  For magazine work Payback will ask you to submit the total number of your images used and will ask for some titles and dates, preferably with ISSNs (International Standard Serial Numbers).  You can look up ISSN numbers with services like the British Library index.

Books are also summarised by total numbers of illustrations printed (even if your name is not on the title page). Provided you are credited somewhere in the book for the illustrations you can add the number to your submission. Don't forget paperback editions too - if there's a different ISBN, it counts as a separate publication!
Because you generally calculate the same information every year with fresh top-ups for your latest work, I find it easiest to list all my book/magazine/TV work in spreadsheets, and from this submit to Payback, which avoids having to repeat the laborious task of looking everything up from scratch. I once claimed for fewer works one year than the previous, and had to go through all my archives again to remember what I'd left off the list!

What if I'm claiming for authorship too? DACS works in tandem with ALCS, (the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society), which covers written literary works. You can't claim for the same visual content contributions through both ALCS and DACS, so if you're signed up to both as an author/illustrator registering a title you've self-written as well as illustrated you need to be careful your claim with DACS is for illustrations and your claim with ALCS is for writing! ALCS also differs from DACS in that for magazines & journals you can only claim for written works in the UK published within the last three years, while DACS will ask for a summary of your whole career of illustrations in the UK. Both will accept books published throughout your career.

What if my publication is overseas? It's also okay to register overseas-published books with ALCS (though you may not receive any payments from them), however DACS have told me not to include overseas published material in your calculations - ALCS and DACS thus have different rules!

Header image credit: John Shelley

John Shelley is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures and the illustrator of over 50 books for children, most recently the picture book Magic for Sale with words by Carrie Clickard (Holiday House). He was one of the UK nominees for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

The author would like to thank DACS HQ for help in researching this article.

No comments:

We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.