Frequently asked questions
Collection societies (e.g. DACS Payback)
Q. What’s a claiming society?
A. Claiming societies are generally not-for-profit, they help visual artists and creators claim royalty payments for secondary uses more effectively. Such licensing schemes cover situations where it would be impractical for you to license your rights on an individual basis. For example, when a student in a library wants to photocopy pages from a book which features your work. As the creator of the work being photocopied, you’re entitled to a royalty, but rather than ask the student to contact you every time they photocopy your work, the library pays an annual licence fee that covers their students photocopying copyright protected books. It’s not just libraries and universities that do this. Different types of businesses and organisations buy a similar licence too.
Q. How does Alamy work with collecting societies?
A. At the moment we work with DACS Payback in the UK and we’ve started to work with The Copyright Agency (CA) in Australia.
With the DACS Payback scheme and as your representative, Alamy can claim for your eligible UK licenses (books, magazines and TV). Last year we helped over 15,000 Alamy contributors successfully claim their share of the £5.5 million pot.
Q. What is the DACS Payback scheme?
A. DACS Payback is an annual scheme that distributes money to visual artists to cover secondary usages for certain licenses you sell into the UK market. Those licenses are books, magazines and TV. If you’d like more info on The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and their Payback Scheme then you might want to check out the DACS FAQs.
Q. How do I know if I’m eligible to claim through DACS Payback?
A. With DACS, to be eligible you need to have sold one or more licenses for use in a UK magazine or book. You can also claim for images licensed to appear in domestic TV programmes broadcast in the UK.
Q. I would like you to claim DACS payments from Alamy sales, how do I do this?
A. You don’t need to do anything. Unless you opted out for DACS Payback by the 30th July 2016 (see contributor contract clause 28 and 28.1) then we’ll automatically claim for all eligible licenses on your behalf.
Q. I had to sign a form last year, do you need a form from me this year?
A. DACS have changed the way they want us to work this year. They don’t need a form from each individual, they just need one from us as your representative.
Q. Can you tell me how much money I’ll get from my DACS claim through Alamy?
A. How much you’ll receive will depend on how often your work has been published in a book or magazine or used in TV programmes. DACS work out your share by the number of times your work has been featured, not by the number of times it has been photocopied or watched. The amount DACS receive in licensing revenue can vary from year to year. The number of applicants each year also has an effect on how much you’ll receive. The minimum amount should be £25 (which will then be subject to 50% commission) but the more eligible licenses you have the more money you should get.
Q. When will you pay me for my DACS claim?
A. We usually receive the funds from DACS at the end of September, and this will be added to your contributor account before the end of October. If your cleared balance is over $50, we’ll pay you in the November pay run.
Q. I don’t understand clause 28 of the contract
A. This clause confirms we can claim a share of royalties for secondary uses of your images from collecting societies such as DACS. We will pay you a 50% share of these royalties after recouping our administration charges of around £1 per claim.
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