ARS presents highlights in growth of visual art reprography
Janet Hicks presenting at AMI 2019 annual meeting

ARS presents highlights in growth of visual art reprography

Visual art reprography grew to 87 million (+109%) in 2018

Janet Hicks, Vice President and Director of Licensing at the Artists Rights Society (ARS), detailed their advocacy of both artists rights and illustrators’ secondary rights at the Association of Medical Illustrators conference on July 27, 2019.

She shared compelling data from the CISAC Global Collections Report 2018, highlighting that reprography is the largest income stream for Visual Art with 87 million collected and a 5-year growth rate of 109%. Also of note are the 5-year growth rate of collections for private copying (+335%) and educational use (+1,328%).

Visual Arts Repertoire — CISAC Global Collections Report 2018 download PDF

Reprography is a form of reproduction, i.e. the duplication of a work. Reprographic reproduction is a process that usually results in a copy on a graphic surface by for example the following processes:

  • Printing
  • Photocopying
  • Scanning
  • Digital copying
  • Private copying
  • Electronic storage in databases

Reprographic rights are held individually by each artist but are licensed collectively by a copyright collecting society that artists have mandated to administer these rights.

These sorts of secondary rights often don’t need the direct permission from the rights holders to execute, provided the end user is paying a licensing fee because of compulsory agreements in place in different countries.

This is separate and distinct from the primary licensing or work for hire an illustrator might do in their day-to-day work — which gets you a set fee for a set use via a contract with a publisher/client.

Despite best efforts, illustrators remained unable to establish a society due to ongoing competing claims for your royalties by other parties. In 2018, after years of supporting illustrators’ efforts, the Artists Rights Society (ARS) formally expanded its representation to include the Collective Administration of Illustrators’ Secondary Rights, providing the services and protections of a bona fide CISAC visual art collecting society to American illustrators. In January 2019, American illustrators received their first reprographic royalty checks and were provided the opportunity to file claims in France, UK, Germany and Spain.

Why is this important now?

Organizations such as CISAC, IFRRO and sister organizations are more determined then ever to get money directly into the hands of creators.

Previously, and still to this day, organizations like the Authors Coalition of America, which is a network of trade associations and unions, receive reprography funds like this within and via IFRRO for the specific purpose of advocacy, outreach and education. So these non title-specific royalties do not go to artists but to systems made to support artists like grants, scholarship, legal council, etc. There does seem to be a bit of a tide change in the whole reprography system, perhaps permanent, perhaps not, to change this model of distributing to unions and membership organizations and instead to send directly to artists.

Why choose ARS as your collecting society?

  • Members of CISAC and IFRRO
  • Longstanding reciprocal arrangements with sister societies in Europe
  • 30+ years of experience
  • Membership with ARS affords you an IPI number and assimilation into a global rights system
  • Committed to distributing funds to individual illustrators
  • Not a start-up, ARS already represents 122,000 fine artists

Learn more about the Artists Rights Society and how to become an Illustrator Member at