A Milestone! American Illustrators receive their first royalty checks

A Milestone! American Illustrators receive their first royalty checks

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Artists Getting Paid

In January 2019, illustrators who have signed reprographic agreements with the Artists Rights Society (ARS) began receiving reprographic royalty checks. Last month, ARS sent out another round of checks to more new members. These payouts are a milestone: the first time American illustrators have ever received a share of these international reprographic royalties.

On March 25, many of us (through ARS) filed claims with the French collecting society ADAGP for illustration work dating back to 1995. In two weeks, April 22, 2019, another deadline will give us an opportunity to file additional claims with the United Kingdom.

This success is the result of efforts by the American Society of Illustrators Partnership coalition that have worked for years toward this goal.

To join, the only requirement is that you must be a published illustrator and you must apply for ARS membership directly. There is no membership fee and all published US artists are eligible. Once you are an ARS Illustrator member, you can then file claims for your published work. 

About ARS

The Artists Rights Society (ARS is Latin for Art) is a widely-respected, long-established fine art collecting society. It is one of 41 international “Sister Societies” monitored by the quasi-governmental body CISAC. CISAC conducts audits of each organization. It checks their books and makes sure that their income and distribution models fulfill the strictest international  guidelines. ARS is a member of CISAC and has a 30-year history of seeing that fine artists are paid for the use of their work. We’re pleased that ARS has agreed to add illustrators’ reprographic rights to their agenda.

Join the Artists Rights Society

1. Download the Illustrators Member Agreement. There are helpful FAQs at this link.
2. Fill out the Member Agreement, listing all names, pseudonyms, and other variations under which your work is credited. 
3. Sign the agreement with a digital signature or a traditional signature.
4. Return one copy to ARS, along with the completed W9 Form, via email
5. ARS will return a counter-signed agreement to you.

This procedure will allow ARS to issue you an IPI (Interested Party Information) Number. This is a unique identifying number assigned by the international CISAC database to each creative artist.

IPI numbers are used by more than 120 countries and three million creators. Collecting societies require these identity numbers in order to pay royalties to the proper rightsholders and to avoid fraudulent claims.

Joining ARS will NOT interfere with your normal individual licensing arrangements.  Your ARS contract will only apply where collective fees are already being collected under blanket licenses such as photocopying usage, cable retransmission fees, etc. These are royalties which until now, illustrators have never been able to claim.

Creating a Catalog

For the record, we are NOT suggesting that ASIP (through ARS) is offering artists easy money. According to the General Papers of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations:

“One of the basic principles of collective administration is that remuneration should be distributed individually to rightholders according to the actual use of their works.”  

This means that by joining ARS, illustrators will have the opportunity to supply ARS with a catalog of published works, dating back to your first publication. ARS in turn, will supply these records to its sister societies in other countries. 

For most artists, this will mean researching and/or reconstructing records from multiple sources: tear sheets, diaries, calendars, invoices and the Internet; then entering the information on a spreadsheet. Most artists who have already started this process report finding it time-consuming but rewarding. Like this, from one of the country’s leading medical illustrators:

“I had never catalogued my life’s work before, and joining the ARS effort has been challenging and rewarding. I will continue to build my list of published works, and look forward to reaping the benefits as time goes by…”

File A Claim for Foreign Royalties

UK Reprographic Royalty Claim are Open Now
Illustrators whose work has been published –  or is available for sale – in the UK are eligible to file a claim for reprographic royalties with the British Design & Artists Copyright Society (DACS). 

DACS distributes royalties for the secondary use – such as from photocopying – of images published in the UK. This can include American books and magazines sold in the UK or housed in the British Library, for example, the CA Magazine Illustration Annual, among others. ARS Illustrators may apply online directly with DACS, or via ARS by filling out the form which can be downloaded here.

The rules for the UK are the following:

1. You must own the copyright. Under US copyright law, you do own the copyright on your work (whether it was registered or not) unless it was done under a work-for-hire contract.

2. There is no backward limit to when the work needs to have been published. You may count your entire publication history through December 31, 2018.

3. There are two forms: Payback 2019 and Publication History

Payback will not take long to fill out. It is due end-of-day April 22.
Publication History will take longer, but you will have eleven months to complete it. ARS Illustration Members will receive the Publication History form later.  

Instructions for Payback:

a. Download the UK form here.

b. Fill in your name and Zipcode (Postcode). Ignore the Claim Reference Number. ARS will fill in this number for you.

c. Fill in the total number of books (as best you can) in which you have been published during your career; provide the detailed information requested on 3 example books, and estimate the total number of times your images were published in books during your career.

d. Repeat this process for the magazines section.

e. Count, or estimate, your total images published in books and magazines as closely as you can. When counting, count the number of times your images were used in total (e.g., cover, table of contents, chapter opener, article, etc.). You will need to back this information up on the detailed Publication History Form you will send in later.

f. For these three examples, either books or magazines, the UK requires the ISBN for books, and the ISSN and Issue No./Cover date for magazines. (The Issue No./Cover date is not required for the Publication History Form you will send in later.) Tip: Most magazines have one permanent ISSN number; i.e. each issue of one publication will have the same ISSN number.

g. If a book or magazine was published without an ISBN or ISSN number do not submit it. If you don’t have a physical copy, the following online resources may help you identify the ISBN or ISSN:

    •     Copyright Licensing Agency’s Title Search

    •     Integrated Catalogue of the British Library

    •     Worldcat

    •     JISC

    •     Searching Amazon or Google Books  may also help.

h. UK requires the 13-digit ISBN. If you need to convert a 10-digit ISBN to a 13-digit ISBN do so here: https://isbnconverter.sampo.co.uk/

i. You are also eligible for royalties if your work was broadcast on BBC, Discovery, A&E, National Geographic, CBBS, CBeebi, or BBC News.

j. Send this form in by April 22.

The Payback website can be found here: Payback. The link to their Frequently Asked Questions page, detailing how the scheme works, and what is eligible (and what is not…!) is here: FAQs.

The deadline to submit to ARS for UK Payback 2019 is April 22, 2019. 

To apply via ARS, please download and fill out the Payback form according to the above instructions and send to Artists Rights Society by April 22nd.