FAQs About Reprographic Rights

Q: I'm new to the discussion of reprographic rights. What are they?
A: Reprographic rights are secondary rights that are managed collectively. Reprographic reproduction is the copying of published work. It began with photocopying and has now extended into digital reproductions of published works. If you have ever purchased photocopies or purchased a downloadable journal article you have paid a reprographic fee. Part of this fee is due the creator of the work.

Q: How do I manage my reprographic rights?
A: These rights are held individually but licensed through a collective administration. It is not possible for an artist to license these rights individually. American illustrators have been unsuccessful in accessing the reprographic royalties due them. Joining the Artists Rights Society and being assimilated into the IPI database will bring us closer to establishing a reprographic royalty income stream for illustrators.

Q: I am already a member of ASIP. Do I also need to join ARS?
A: Yes. You need to be assimilated into the IPI database, and ARS is the only US visual art Copyright Management Organization (CMO) that can provide this opportunity to you.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: There is no fee to be a member of ARS. There is no fee to be assigned an IPI number and be assimilated into the IPI database.

Q: What kind of information do I need to give ARS to be assigned an IPI number and assimilated into the global IPI system?
A: ARS needs only the artist’s name, contact information and birth date (and death date in the case of estates): these dates are necessary to distinguish between two artists with the same name.

Q: How does ARS collect royalties?
A: ARS has agreements with multiple foreign national CMOs specializing in collective licensing secondary reprographic use of artists’ copyrighted works within their territory.

Q: What does it mean for an illustrator “to make a claim?”
A: Once you join ARS you will be invited to fill out a claim sheet for different specific countries, listing your published works.

Q: Are claims different from country to country?
A: Yes. Foreign CMOs have differing methods and protocols for collecting secondary reprographic royalties, including levies imposed on sales of equipment, recording media and software as well as blanket licensing of users of such equipment and media such as schools, institutions and companies.

Q: What is the administrative fee deducted from royalties that might be due me?
A: ARS retains 25% of the royalties collected on behalf of the artist under the member agreement as a fee for its services and will not require the artist to pay any additional fee.

Q: How often are royalties paid?
A: When secondary rights royalties from a foreign CMO or CMOs have been successfully collected ARS will submit a report and payment to the artist on a semi-annual basis. The report will include the name(s) of the foreign CMO from whom the royalties were received and be accompanied by a payment for the entire amount shown to be due the artist for that period.

Q: What is the meaning of national treatment under international law?
A: National treatment means your copyrights are honored and treated in a foreign country in the same manner as an artist who is a citizen of that country.

Q: Am I guaranteed to receive royalties on my claims?
A: While artists are entitled to national treatment under international law, the cooperation of foreign CMOs is required for ARS to receive royalty payments from foreign CMOs. In cases where such cooperation may not be forthcoming ARS has no obligation to distribute payments to the artist.

Q: Does allowing ARS to collect my secondary royalties on my behalf in any way preclude or limit me from the exclusive licensing of my work by any other means?
A: No. Your secondary reprographic rights are held individually, but can only be exercised and licensed collectively through collective administration. You will continue to conduct all your primary licensing as you do now, including re-licensing of your published works in the primary markets. This is a new and independent licensing stream that will become available to you if claims are successful.

Q: Why does the member agreement require indemnification by me?
A: All collective licensing agreements require indemnification to protect the cumulative royalties of member artists.

Q: What am I required to indemnify?
A: You must represent and warrant to ARS that your published works have been created by you and that you are the author, that your published works are original, that your published artistic works do not infringe another’s copyright, and that you have the authority to enter into and grant the rights set forth in the agreement necessary for ARS to perform its obligations under the agreement.

Q: Tell me more about the IPI number.
A: The IPI is a unique identifying number assigned by the CISAC database to each Interested Party in collective rights management.

“The purpose of the Interested Party Information (IPI) system is the global unique identification of a right holder acting across multiple creation classes (musical work, literary work, work of art etc.) with an interest in an artistic work across all categories of works, different roles in relation to a work (composer, arranger, publisher, etc.) and the corresponding rights in a work.  This system is an essential component of the data exchange mechanism linking the CISAC member societies.” 

Q: Where can I read further about the IPI Number and IPI system?

http://www.cisac.org/What-We-Do/Information-Services/IPI https://www.ipisystem.org/ (click on “Public Information” to read more.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interested_Parties_Information

Q: Do I need to be a US citizen to join ARS?
A: You do not need to be a US citizen to join ARS but you need to be a US domiciliary, meaning you are living in the US.

Q: I am a US citizen living abroad. Can I join ARS? 
A: ARS only remits payments to US addresses so while you could live part time in another country, you will need to direct the payments to a US address.

Q: I am Canadian. How can I obtain reprographic royalties?
A: Canadian illustrators should apply to your national copyright management organization, Access Copyright.

Q: What about non-US domiciliaries and non-Canadians?
A: Most countries also have national copyright management organizations that administer collective licensing of secondary rights. You may find your national CMO listed here: http://members.cisac.org/

Q: I am a student. Can I join?
A: You are welcome to join as soon as your work is published. Reprographic royalties are only earned when published work is copied.

Q: Are royalties taxable?
A: Yes, royalties are taxable income and must be reported by you to the IRS.

Q: Can I claim works I created?
A: Illustrators sometimes produce illustrations as "work for hire" either as part of a fulltime position or under contract, in addition to producing work to which they own the copyright. The concept of work for hire is uniquely American and not recognized by the European CMOs. ARS will only be distributing royalties to the creator of the original works. Further distribution of the royalties in consideration of work for hire should be made at the discretion of the creator.

Q: Where can I learn more about Artists Rights Society?
A: www.arsny.com

Q: Where can I learn more about CISAC?
A: www.cisac.org

Q: How do I join?
A: By downloading and filling out the ARS Membership Agreement.

About ASIP

Q: Is ASIP an official organization?
A: Yes, incorporated and chartered October 25, 2007 under the laws of Delaware.

Q: Who founded it?
A: The 6 illustrators’ organizations named below.

Q: How was ASIP founded?
A: It was initiated by the Illustrators Partnership (IPA), developed in concert with the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) and finally chartered as an autonomous group to represent the class of American illustrators.

Q: Which organizations chartered it?
A: The following (in order of their joining):

Illustrators’ Partnership of America
Association of Medical Illustrators
Society of Illustrators NY
American Society of Architectural Illustrators
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
San Francisco Society of Illustrators

Q: Are other groups eligible to join?
A: Yes, other groups have already joined and others are invited to join at any time.

Q: How was the Board of Directors selected?
A: Each member organization group names their own representative.

Q: What if I don’t belong to one of these groups?
A: Nonaffiliated artists can join independently and will be represented by a Director-at-Large.

Q: Who approved the ASIP charter and by-laws?
A: The Boards of each organization officially voted their approval.

Background Information About ASIP

Q: If reprographic licensing has been going on for decades, why has it taken so long to start a collecting society for American illustrators?
A: In other countries, RROs have generally been government-created. In the U.S. it’s been left to the initiative of organizations. Before the Illustrators’ Partnership, no group in the U.S. took the initiative.

Q: What’s the history of that initiative?
A: Key points:

• June 2001, the Illustrators Partnership of America (IPA) forms an official alliance with the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI).

• 2003, IPA becomes a member of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO).

• 2003-2005, Five more groups come together as an informal “reprographics coalition.”

• August 2006, Terry Brown, Director of the Society of Illustrators convenes an “Illustrators Summit” of seven groups at the Society of Illustrators in New York. Following the summit, five more groups express an interest in joining.

• October 2006, These 12 groups prepare a Declaration of Unity which is read to the General Assembly of the 2006 IFRRO conference in Auckland New Zealand. It states that American illustrators have come together and wish to work with the Copyright Clearance Center to bring accountability to illustrators’ reprographic rights.

• October 2007, the American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP) is founded with papers drafted by attorney Peter Rooney of the firm of McKee Nelson. The Incorporation papers are filed October 25, 2007 as a corporation in the state of Delaware.

• February 2008, Twelve groups meet at the second Illustrators Summit at the Society of Illustrators and agree to seek an industry-wide mandate from their members to represent reprographic rights.

• November 2008, the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) filed a one million dollar lawsuit against Brad Holland, Ken Dubrowski, Bruce Lehman, Terry Brown, Cynthia Turner and the Illustrators Partnership of America (IPA). GAG asserted claims for defamation and interference with contractual relations, alleging that IPA had interfered with a "business relationship" GAG had entered into that enabled GAG to collect orphaned reprographic royalties derived from the licensing of illustrators' work. GAG alleged that efforts by IPA to create a collecting society to return lost royalties to artists "interfered" with GAG's "business" of appropriating these orphaned fees.

• April 2011, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed all claims in the lawsuit brought by the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) against the Illustrators' Partnership of America. The judge ruled that statements made by the IPA and the other defendants were true; that true statements cannot be defamatory; that illustrators have a "common interest" in orphaned income; and that a "common-interest privilege" may arise from both a right and a duty to convey relevant information, however contentious, to others who share that interest or duty.

• September 2013, ASIP signed an agreement with the Artists Rights Society (ARS) for official representation of American illustrators’ collective rights for the purpose of receiving monetary distributions from secondary rights receipts destined for illustrators, including reprographic fees and cable retransmission fees, which may become available in the future.

ARS is the preeminent copyright, licensing, and monitoring organization for visual artists in the US. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights of over 80,000 visual artists and their estates worldwide.

As a member of the Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), ARS maintains relationships with like-minded “sister societies” abroad. Through reciprocal agreements, ARS represents the artist repertories of its foreign sister societies in the US, and they in turn represent ARS’ American repertory in their territories. In this capacity, ARS has continued to advocate at the highest levels for the repatriation of foreign reprographic royalties earned by American illustrators, as well as the payment of domestic reprographic royalties accrued from licensing by the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC).