About Reprographic Rights

Reprography is the reproduction of something already printed. It traditionally referred to photocopying, but also now includes digital reproductions of published works.

Reprographic rights are the photocopy and digital reproduction rights of your published work. Reprographic rights are separate from the first print or electronic reproduction rights.

Reprographic rights are held individually by artists, but managed collectively by a collecting society.

A collecting society can only administer the rights of its members, i.e., those artists who have given the society a mandate to act on their behalf.

Join ARS

ASIP is urging all published illustrators to join the Artists Rights Society (ARS) as an Illustrator Member. There is no fee for this, and as an ARS member illustrator, you can then be assimilated into a global system that will allow you to receive licensing fees for secondary uses of your work.

This global system (called IPI for Interested Party Information) assigns artists, musicians and other authors a unique legal identity tag called an IPI Number. If you are an illustrator, this will allow you to make claims for licensing fees for the use of your work currently being collected under international blanket licenses.

A blanket license is a license that gives a user the right to use any work from a body of collective works where generic royalties (similar to jukebox money) can be collected and distributed to rightsholders only through internationally established collecting societies.

In the US, IPI numbers can only be obtained for you by the Artists Rights Society. ARS is the fine art collecting society that represents over 40,000 fine artists, including the estates of Picasso, Matisse, Saul Steinberg and others.

The IPI number uniquely identifies each illustrator according to their name, birth date, death date if applicable, country, and authorized collecting society.

Musicians, fine artists and writers have been in the IPI system for years. Collecting societies require these identity numbers in order to pay royalties to the proper rightsholders and to avoid fraudulent claims.

The IPI system and database are administered by the Swiss copyright society SUISA in accordance with guidelines and standards established by CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers).

To be eligible for membership, you must hold the copyrights to your visual works that have appeared within a collective work, such as a book, magazine, journal, or newspaper. You must agree to provide representative copies of these works to ARS if requested.

There is no fee for membership and you need only supply ARS with your name and birth date (and death date in the case of estates) and your contact information. These dates are necessary to distinguish between two artists with the same name.

To join ARS, please download the pdf Member Agreement from the ARS website.

You may return one copy to ARS via email: illustrators@arsny.com or via postal mail: Artists Rights Society, 65 Bleecker St, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10012. ARS will return a counter-signed agreement to you and will then send you a W-9 form to fill out for any payments due you.

This Agreement is for blanket licensing fees only, and will not in any way preclude or limit you from exclusive licensing of your works by any other means.

First Print or Electronic
Publication Rights—
held individually and managed individually
by artists and their reps:

Botticelli art

Artist creates a new work
or licenses an existing
work to a publisher

Botticelli art printed page

Publisher prints picture
in a collective work,
like a book, magazine,
journal or newspaper

Botticelli art printed page

Publisher distributes
collective work online and/or through stores,
subscriptions, newstands, etc.
End of first-rights license.

Reprographic Rights
held individually but managed collectively for artists by a collecting society:

Botticelli_reprographic

The publication has a second ongoing commercial life through photocopy or digital republication, known as the reprographic license. Users obtain reprographic licenses from Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) throughout the world. Institutions, businesses, libraries and copy shops like Kinkos all pay licenses to RROs to photocopy.

Typically, the RROS pay the publishers’ share to the publishers, and the artists’
share to a collecting society, which in turn distributes the royalties to the artists.

Some royalties (title-specific) can be traced to individual artists (example: children’s book) where the artist can be identified as the sole author of the work being licensed. These royalties can be paid to the artist directly.

Other royalties (non-title specific) cannot be identified because they come from a collective work (example: magazine) where multiple artists have contributed to the work being licensed. These royalties are collected and distributed through blanket licenses, just as juke box royalties are paid to songwriters.

Published work is subject to ongoing reprographic licensing
for the length of the creator’s copyright.