Photocopied money for you

TO THE pleasure and in some cases tapdancing joy of hundreds of NUJ freelance members, the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) has just announced its latest round of payments for photocopying royalties, with a large chunk coming from magazines. The amount each writer is entitled to varies according to the number of articles.

One member reports that he has worked hard at being the ideal ALCS member. He's catalogued all the pieces in which he retains copyright. He was wondering whether the admin involved in providing the info was worthwhile - until informed that his payment net of ALCS commission this year was £955. Then it all made sense.

Another member who's much less diligent just got notice of £88 net for a single book chapter - including £8 from Norway. That was done basically as advertising, for a nominal £50 in the first place. Since it has shown up unprompted, it's clearly been photocopied a lot. Which is nice.

Over £450,000 in all is being distributed to 2450 freelance writers and academic writers. So it's worth battling against copyright grabs, whether or not you manage to re-sell or syndicate your work. All NUJ members who write are entitled to associate membership of ALCS: visit to join, or request a form by sending email to or by post to ALCS, Marlborough Court, 14-18 Holborn, London EC1N 2LE.

Photographers and illustrators should contact the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) - see their advert. Any photographer or illustrator who wants to opt out of the DACS licence for secondary use of their work should contact the Freelance Office now.

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