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

The American Society of Illustrators Partnership 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 otherwise unidentified uses of your work.

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 toARS if requested.

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

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:


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.