What is Payback?

Payback is an annual scheme which pays artists for the use of artworks that are published in UK books, magazines and shown on TV.

In 2018, thousands of artists and their representatives claimed a share of over £5 million in Payback royalties.

The money comes from a number of collective licensing schemes, but mainly from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). Every year the CLA sells photocopying licences to schools, universities, local councils, central government and business organisations to allow them to photocopy copyright-protected works, including books.

If your work is published in the UK, you should claim!

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How do I become a Payback member?

Becoming a Payback member is simple and free. When you join, DACS will pay you your Payback royalties, as well as campaigning on your behalf for artists rights.

You become a member by agreeing to the Payback Terms and Conditions when you make your claim. 

Just tick a box to show you have read and accepted the Payback Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy. You can find this under the ‘Personal Details’ section in your online account.

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How does it work?

This year we are delighted to launch a new website where you can claim your royalties.

You can see it at www.payback.dacs.org.uk

For instructions on how to use the website and make your claim, please watch this video: 

You should also be aware that Payback has two parts to fill in, with two different deadlines. In order to receive your royalties you must complete both parts.

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What do you mean by Part 1 and Part 2?

The Payback process is comprised of two parts with two different deadlines. In order for your claim to be successful, you must at least complete part 2.

‘Part 1’ refers to telling us about your publication history. An increasing share of the Payback money comes from the Publication History pot. You are paid when your data matches the lists of books and magazines held by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). In this part, you provide the ISBNS (international standard book number), ISSNS (international standard serial number) and website URLS for each of the publications your work has been featured in. Although completing part 1 is not mandatory for your claim, we encourage people to fill this in, as an increasing share of the royalties come from the matched data from the CLA. Completing this part will also maximise your claim. The deadline for completing part 1 is 24 February 2020.

‘Part 2’ refers to submitting your Payback claim and telling us about the number of publications your works have been featured in, and the number of times your works appeared within those publications. You can claim for the overall number of works published in UK books and magazines up until 31 December 2019. You need to fill in these details on the Payback website by 17 April 2020.

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How much will my Payback royalties be?

It depends on how often your work has been published, so there is no set amount. In 2019, tens of thousands of visual artists and estates were allocated a share of  £4.7 million.

There are two parts to the claim which require slightly different information, and are calculated differently. Part one requires you to enter the specific ISBNs and ISSN of the publications that featured your work. The share of your royalties that come from this part is ever growing, so we really encourage you to fill this section in. It has a slightly earlier deadline: 24th February 2020. 

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When will I receive my Payback royalties?

If you submit your claim to us by the deadlines, and provided your details are correct, you should receive your royalty in Autumn 2020. We will be in touch to let you know when to expect payment.

If you need to update your bank details, please do so on the Payback website Back to top of page

Who can make a claim?

All kinds of visual artists can make a claim. If you are an illustrator, sculptor, cartoonist, photographer, fine artist, designer, architect or any other type of visual artist then you can claim Payback. The important thing is that you own the copyright in your work.

Also, the beneficiaries of all kinds of artists can claim. Payback covers all types of visual art including illustration, photography and fine art. The important thing is that your work is by copyright and you own the copyright in the artwork you are claiming royalties for.

If you are unsure if you own the copyright in your work, you might find the information we provide on our Knowledge Base useful.



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What publications can I claim for?

For Payback 2020, you can claim for any artwork or photograph that has appeared in a book or magazine published in the UK up until the end of 31 December 2019, so long as you own the copyright.

There is no backward limit to when the work needs to have been published – you can claim for artwork published three years ago, thirty years ago or more. You can also claim for work reproduced in a book that has gone out of print. It doesn’t matter if it is one work appearing in one book, or thousands of works appearing in thousands of books. You are still entitled to a share of the royalties.

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What television can I claim for?

<p> Payback also covers the secondary use of your work in television programmes. This includes&nbsp; repeat transmissions of terrestrial TV shows&nbsp; on cable.<br /> <br /> You can therefore claim for work which has featured on the following channels: BBC 1, 2, 3 and 4, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News 24, BBC Parliament, ITV1, Channel 4, S4C, Channel 5, Discovery, A&amp;E and National Geographic.<br /> <br /> There are some things to consider when applying for Payback television royalties:<br /> <br /> Payback only covers the five terrestrial channels, BBC digital channels and the Discovery, A&amp;E and National Geographic channels. This is because the television royalties money comes from ERA, Irish Cable and the BBC.<br /> <br /> Payback 2020 you can only claim for work shown on TV in 2019 and no previous years.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Back to top of page

What can’t I claim for?

You cannot claim Payback royalties for the following:

• Artistic works for which you do not own the copyright, including works created under employment where the copyright rest with the employer
• Non-UK publications
• Artistic works out of copyright at the time of use
• Works included in newspapers, weekend supplements, leaflets and brochures
• Works reproduced in publications without an ISBN or ISSN number
• Works on social media
• e-Books, e-Journals, digital apps
• Works being claimed for on your behalf by an Authorised Representative
• Photographs licensed for use under the BBC TelPic contract
• Works you have claimed for in a television claim in the past (unless repeated on television in the previous claim year)
• Works used in feature films
• Ordnance Survey maps
• Logos and trademarks
• Writing, literary or musical works
• Industry manufactured products
• Videos or computer games
• DVD, CD-Rom
• Speculative television claims
• Claims for your image as an actor
• Derivative works where your contribution is not copyright protected in its own right

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Where can I find the ISBN or ISSN for my Part 1 Claim??

An ISBN, or an International Standard Book Number, is a 13-digit code to identify abook.  You can find the ISBN of a book on the back cover of paperbacks, or on the inside of the fly jacket of a hardback, usually above the barcode. The ISSN of a magazine is sometimes on its front cover, above the barcode.

NOTE: Older books may have a 10-digit ISBN instead. When you add this to your list it will automatically convert it to its equivalent 13-digit number

If you don’t have physical copies to hand, you can use the following online resources to help you identify the ISBN or ISSN:

An ISSN, or an International Standard Serial Number, is an 8-digit serial number to identify a magazine or journal. Magazines usually have the same ISSN for every edition/ issue.

If you can’t find the ISSN of a magazine, then you can type the barcode number in when adding a title to your list. Our site will convert the number for you!

The link below may also provide ISSN information, but please make sure you select the UK version of the magazine:
ISSN portal

You can also add website URLs onto your Publication History list. All we need is the main website address, not the specific page your image features on. For example, www.dacs.org.uk

Submitting Sales Reports to validate Payback claims

We understand that in some instances individuals may not have specific ISBN or ISSN data, in particular if the image was licensed by a picture library on their behalf.

In these instances, we can accept copies of your Sales Reports as a means of validating your claim and ensuring you can receive Payback royalties from us. If you are submitting Sales Reports to us, you must clearly highlight which examples you wish to put forward in order to validate your claim. You can only claim for work which has been published in a book or magazine in the UK. You will be able to upload your sales report directly to the claim form on our website

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What if I can’t supply all my ISBNs and ISSNs?

Don’t worry if you don’t have a record of every single UK publication. For now, simply provide as much information as you can to get the most out this part of your claim.

The first part is saved in your online Payback account so each following year it will be easier for you to update any new titles or information, building up a comprehensive publication history.

If you have completed the first part of your claim before the deadline, you must also complete and submit the second part for your claim to be eligible.

You will not be eligible for any royalties if you only complete the first part. 

To help you, we have checked and corrected some data in your claims. This includes converting some barcodes into ISBNs and ISSNs. Anything that was found to be invalid has been removed.

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What happens if I make an error on my application?

We carry out some checks on submitted applications for errors, such as partial completion of the form or incomplete publication examples. We also ask that you ensure your claim form is completed correctly and that you are only claiming for eligible uses.

If we identify an error, we will email you to advise how it can be rectified. Due to the large volume of claims we receive, we can only contact you twice regarding an error. If you do not rectify the error by the given deadline, we will unfortunately reject your claim on grounds of insufficient information and you will miss out on Payback royalties.

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What happens if I apply for royalties directly as well as through a picture library. What happens in this case?

You can claim for images you have licensed into UK publications, as well as have your picture agency (or agencies) claim on your behalf for the images they have licensed for you.

If at the close of the Payback submission period you have more than one Payback claim submitted and they exceed the maximum level that one claim can reach, then we will proportionately reduce these claims.

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I am a contributor to a picture library but I want to claim as an individual. What do I do?

If the volume of your published work far exceeds the brackets on our form we will need to make some manual changes to your form to make sure you receive the right amount of royalties, so please get in touch!

This applies to unique uses of your artwork in eligible books and magazines. For example, if you have had 1,000 photographs published in 50 separate publications, or 100 illustrations in 500 separate publications. This calculation does not apply to sales figures or to print runs of publications.

If you have any queries or concerns about this please contact us at payback@dacs.org.uk or 0207 780 7580.

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Why do I need to contact you if my work has been reproduced more than 50,000 times?

In order to compensate claimants whose volume of UK published visual work far exceeds the brackets on the Payback claim form, DACS will calculate your royalty payment based on a 480 point claim (double the usual maximum). 
This applies to unique uses of your artwork in eligible books and magazines. For example, if you have had 1,000 photographs published in 50 separate publications, or 100 illustrations in 500 separate publications. This calculation does not apply to sales figures or to print runs of publications.
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