Payback is a service that exists to pay royalties to visual creatives such as photographers for the use of their work in books, magazines or on TV. Have you applied for your share yet?

It can be hard to keep track of all of the ways your work is used. For example, books and magazines containing your copyright-protected works are often photocopied by institutions for training or information purposes. It would be impossible for artists to visit every building that owns a photocopier and ask for a royalty! That’s where DACS does the work for you, and the Payback scheme was set up to give visual artists a share of the royalties for these types of uses.

You do need to sign up which you can do so easily on the new Payback website. Do it now to claim your share of a pot that can be worth over £5 million. You can claim for any artwork or photograph that has appeared in a book or magazine published in the UK up until the end of 31 December 2019, so long as you own the copyright. You can claim for artwork published three years ago, thirty years ago or more. You can also claim for work reproduced in a book that has gone out of print. It doesn’t matter if it’s one work appearing in one book or thousands of works appearing in thousands of books: you’re still entitled to a share of the royalties.

It sounds too good to be true, so where does this money come from? It’s generated by a number of collective licensing schemes, but mainly from the Copyright Licencing Agency (CLA). Every year the CLA sells photocopying licences to schools, universities, local councils, central government and business organisations to allow them to photocopy copyright-protected works, including books. If your work is published in the UK, you should apply for your share.

It doesn’t cost you anything, and you simply need to go to the Payback website to sign up, and the amount you receive will depend on how often your work has been published. As a bonus, alongside the Payback scheme DACS also campaigns for artist’s rights all year around

The 2020 scheme is now up and running so head to the website to see what’s eligible and start claiming now. It’s time for Payback!


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