Royalties paid to creative industries under threat

Visual artists such as photographers, artists, illustrators, sculptors and cartoonists could soon earn less from their existing work due to the end of an arrangement between the Copyright Licensing Agency and DACS.

Until now, an agreement between both parties meant that payback royalties were distributed by DACS to creative professionals with intellectual property being used by other parties. But in May this year, the Copyright Licensing Agency told DACS it no longer believes it is bound by this agreement due to regulatory changes.

DACS has agreed to take part in a valuation process to determine the appropriate shares of secondary rights royalties for collecting societies, but this is expected to take months. DACS has insisted that the existing agreement remain in place until September 2017 to manage the transition to any new arrangement and protect interim incomes.

Though the dispute will not affect royalties paid this year, it could affect payback from 2015 onwards.

DACS has written to Baroness Neville Rolfe, intellectual property minister, and is pursuing the issue with the Prime Minister’s IP adviser, Mike Weatherley MP.

In order to boost the campaign, the Association of Photographers is asking visual creatives to help with the following:

1. Be part of a sample group to collect all the data necessary to assert the rights of visual artists in a valuation exercise currently being carried out by the CLA
2. Send any examples of work where you think you have been treated poorly including examples of where publishers are pressing contributors to waive or sign away secondary rights (including reproduction by photocopying or scanning).

Contract samples, and/or agreement to be part of a sample group should be emailed to Gwen Thomas, director of business and legal services at AOP ( )

For more information, click here.