More pounds per picture

PHOTOGRAPHERS, cartoonists and illustrators are about to be presented with a bit of paperwork - the kind that's worth doing. Because if their work has been used on TV or appeared in books or magazines, as long as they've retained copyright, they could get secondary rights payments of anything up to £3000.

This attractive opportunity comes in the shape of the DACS Payback 2002 claim form which should reach all relevant NUJ freelances during the summer. While the Design and Artists Copyright Society has since 1999 distributed some money to journalist "visual artists" from secondary rights usages of their work on television and by educational institutions, this will be the first pay-out on photocopying of books and magazines. This has much increased revenue.

Chief executive Joanna Cave told the Freelance, "We have had to work incredibly hard to secure this money and it's important that visual creators claim their share."

Last year DACS' Payback scheme had £360,000 available for distribution, but only half of that was actually claimed (though, as per the Lottery, unclaimed money "rolls on" to the following year). This time the photocopying income will boost the total to over £500,000.

Payments vary according to the number of images each freelance has had published or broadcast. At the top end, there is a provisional maximum in 2002 of £3000 - operated in the same way as the ceiling on Public Lending Right payments to book authors to ensure that the visual world's Catherine Cooksons don't hoover up the lot. DACS commission rate - the collecting society's source of income - has yet to establish a routine, Cave explained, because there are complex sums to be done relating to lumps of income received over several years.

  • The NUJ is one of 15 unions and professional bodies comprising DACS' Secondary Rights Mandating Group. This means DACS will automatically collect secondary rights revenue for and distribute it to our members. However, any individual who wishes to opt out of this scheme is, of course, completely free to do so by notifying DACS.
  • DACS does not collect on visual material published in newspapers. This is, or should be, done by the NLA (Newspaper Licensing Agency), a body with a publishers-only board and no creator representatives at all. Both DACS and the NUJ are trying to find out to what extent it actually is distributing secondary rights revenue to freelances -please drop an email to the freelance office if you have been an NLA beneficiary.
  • DACS can be contacted at:
    Parchment House, 13 Northburgh Street
    London EC1V 0JP
    Tel: 020 7336 8811

    or see
Last modified: 13 June 2002 - © 2002 contributors
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