Royalties For Photocopying In UK

Posted on 1/28/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In the UK photographers can receive royalties when someone photocopies a page from a magazine or book that contains their image. In December the EPUK discussion group reported that REX Features, a UK editorial agency purchased by Shutterstock a year ago, misrepresented its right to collect certain monies from DACS on behalf of some of its photographers and falsely reported to the photographers what it had received from DACS. The full story is available here.

Photographers who have authorized REX, or any other agency, to represent them in collecting compensation from DACS may want to read this story and follow developments.

EPUK is an online resource that reports on UK editorial photography issues. The information is produced by full-time editorial photographers working in their spare time. EPUK’s moderators work behind the scenes making the list run smoothly, as well as vetting membership, writing website articles and working with other photographer’s groups.

What Is DACS?

In the UK when a commercial organization like a university, law firm or corporation wants to photocopy copyrighted material from a book or magazine they must get a license. Since there is no practical way to track and directly compensate the individual owner of each page photocopied the Design And Artists Copyright Society (DACS) negotiates and collects blanket annual fees that allow such organizations to legally photocopy. The fees are based on each organization’s anticipated volume of use.

Through a Payback system the funds collected are distributed to photographers, fine artists, illustrators, sculptors, cartoonists, etc. who have works in circulation that might have been photocopied.

To receive payment artists who have created copyright protected artworks that have ever appeared in a book, magazine or TV program distributed in the UK must apply by October of each year and be able to provide some evidence of where their work has been featured.

Artists who are represented by a stock agency, or other type of representation, can authorize their representative to collect fees for them. In 2015 over 25,000 artists and estates received Payback royalties that totaled almost £4.7 million, with individual claims ranging from £25 to around £3,770 and an average claim value of £275.?

For more about DACS see this story.

Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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