Code of Conduct for licensing customers

  1. Introduction
  2. About DACS
  3. Payments to DACS, Refunds and Rights to Cancel
  4. Auditing and reporting
  5. Governance and company information
  6. Service levels and performance
  7. Personal information and our data policies
  8. Complaints
  9. Contacting DACS
  10. Code review

1.  Introduction

This Code of Conduct has been prepared in accordance with The Collective Management of Copyright (EU Directive) Regulations 2016 - formally known as the CRM Regulations, and the British Copyright Council’s Principles for Collective Management Organisations’ Codes of Conduct.
This Code sets out the principles governing membership of DACS, our licensing and other activities, our governance framework and the standards that can be expected from us. It also explains what to do if things go wrong, and how to complain about matters covered by this Code.
DACS may make changes to this Code in the light of feedback from members and stakeholders. The Code may also be amended in response to legislative changes, resolutions passed at DACS’ Annual General Meetings, audit or independent review.

2.  About DACS

Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation. Passionate about transforming the financial landscape for visual artists through innovative new products and services, DACS acts as trusted broker for 100,000 artists worldwide.

We collect and distribute royalties to visual artists and their estates through three rights management schemes: Payback, Artist's Resale Right and Copyright Licensing. We also operate Artimage, a digital image resource for customers seeking digital images alongside copyright licensing.

Founded over 30 years ago, DACS is a flagship organisation that has and continues to campaign for artists’ rights, championing their sustained and vital contribution to the creative economy.

DACS is a not-for-profit organisation, established in 1984 by artists for artists. We are a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and subject to the relevant laws and regulations.
DACS administers rights in artistic works as defined by section 4 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended). DACS also administers the Artist’s Resale Right pursuant to the Artist’s Resale Right Regulations which implement European Directive 2001//84/EC which created a harmonised resale right for artists in Europe.
DACS is a collective management organisation (or CMO), which is a term defined in the CRM Regulations as a body who manages copyright and related rights for the collective benefit of rightsholders. CMOs provide a valuable service both to rightsholders of copyright-protected visual works and those wishing to use them by providing an efficient system of collection and distribution of licence fees for the required uses.
DACS is part of a network of visual arts societies around the world and we hold agreements with many other societies enabling us to offer the works of over 60,000 foreign artists for copyright licensing to customers in the UK. We offer our foreign repertoire to our licensing customers on the same terms as our UK artists’ repertoires.
If you require further information about the scope of our repertoire, our existing reciprocal representation agreements, or the territorial scope of our mandate please take a look at the About Us section of our website, or contact the Chief Operating Officer at the address set out in Section 9 of this code

3.  Payments to DACS, Refunds and Rights to Cancel

Licensees can make payments to DACS by the following means:
  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card, or credit card (online via Worldpay)
  • Cheque payment
The licensee may cancel the request for a licence at any point up until the licence is signed. Once DACS has received written confirmation to proceed in line with the terms of the licence or a request for an invoice is given in writing, then no refund will be issued.

Adherence to the terms of the licence

Creators and rightsholders are entitled to expect that their rights will be respected and that they receive fair payment when their works are used. DACS issues licences with the expectation that the terms and conditions set out in the licence will be adhered to by licensees. Customers wishing to change the terms of the licence are asked to contact us to discuss their needs.


Our licensing prices are based on the way in which an artwork is being used and the commercial nature of the project.
Our members reserve the right to override our standard fees.

We review our licensing prices annually. This allows us to keep in-touch with changes in the industry and technological advances, so we can create relevant and robust licences that benefit both our customers and artists. We generally consult our customers directly about prices and terms and conditions, rather than through trade bodies.

Should any price changes affect your industry, we shall notify you at least 14 days in advance.
Find out about our licensing prices

4.  Auditing and reporting

Licensees are obligated to record all uses of the licensed artworks in order to establish an audit trail. DACS reserves the right (for during the term of the licence plus two years following) to visit the Licensee’s premises during business hours to inspect records and documents relating to the use of the licensed artwork.

If an audit uncovers a discrepancy in the sums payable to DACS, the Licensee may be required to immediately pay such discrepancy, together with interest on such discrepancy, from the date on which it should have been paid until the date on which it is actually paid calculated at an annual rate in accordance with the provisions of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

Any costs associated with the audit will be paid by DACS unless the audit uncovers a discrepancy in which case the licensee may be required to pay for the costs of the audit, depending on the circumstances.

This obligation is detailed in DACS licence agreements. Currently DACS is in the process of updating some of its licensing agreements. New agreements do not allow DACS to visit the Licensees premises, but instead require the Licensee to provide a statement from independent auditors appointed by DACS to verify that the terms of the licence have been adhered to and the appropriate licence fee paid.

5.  Governance and company information

In September 2014 DACS adopted a new governance structure which provided Copyright Licensing Members with the option to have voting rights under company law. Copyright Licensing Members with voting rights (Voting Members) will be invited to attend Annual General Meetings (‘AGM’) and vote on resolutions such as voting in members of the Board of Directors.

DACS is governed by a Board of Directors appointed in accordance with a published role description and person specification, which we advertise widely and among Copyright Licensing, Payback and Artist’s Resale Right Members. We conduct a rigorous shortlisting process in accordance with good equal opportunities and diversity practice, and interview selected candidates in a competitive process.
Each Director appointed to the Board shall be appointed to serve a term of four years. At the end of such term, a Director shall be eligible for re-appointment to the Board for a further term of four years. At the end of such further term, the Director will not be eligible to reapply for appointment until a further period of four years has elapsed.
The Articles of Association provide that the Board should be made up of not less than six nor more than sixteen Directors and DACS strives to ensure that Directors shall be made up of an equal number of Member Directors and Non-Member Directors, so that visual artists are suitably represented on the Board Vacant positions shall be filled by vote at the AGM.

Board Committees

Under DACS’ Articles of Association, the Board can also delegate any of its duties to committees comprising Board members and executive staff (and if appropriate external parties).
Currently DACS has the following Board sub-committees:

Finance and Audit Committee

Monitors financial performance and advises the Board on strategic implications or significance of financial matters.

Remuneration Committee

Oversees DACS’ HR policies and practices; reviews Board and staff remuneration and makes recommendations to the Board in this respect.

Communications Committee

Oversees all DACS corporate communications activities, including website development and company branding.

Business Development Committee

Oversees business development as well as artists’ recruitment, licensing, research and  development activities.

Legal Committee

Provides general strategic advice to the Board on legal issues arising in the course of DACS’ business.
The extent of delegation is reflected in individual procedural rules for each committee which are reviewed periodically to ensure the best connection between Board and committees.

General Meetings

As a result of the extensive governance review that DACS undertook in 2012/13, the new Articles of Association provide for the introduction of annual general meetings (‘AGM’) from 2014. Copyright Licensing Members, who have elected to become Company Law Members will have voting rights.

Notice of the AGM will be accompanied by an agenda of the meeting, copies of resolutions and a form of proxy.


DACS regularly consults with a wide range of stakeholders on issues materially affecting them, including:
  • How DACS should respond to changes in copyright legislation
  • Changes to DACS’ governance
  • Changes to licensing terms and conditions
With regards to DACS’ participation or running of potential Extended Collective Licence Schemes, DACS undertakes to consult with rights holders that would be affected by the proposed Extended Collective Licensing Scheme and acknowledges that DACS requires informed consent of a substantial proportion of Members to apply for the authorisation of any such Scheme.
DACS consults via post, email and, where appropriate, by meeting with groups of stakeholders. Consultations may be promoted via our website and on social media platforms.

Company information

We publish an Annual Review which includes a summary of activities during the period in question, a list of Board Directors and staff, and a summary of the accounts for the year in question as well as other matters of interest to our stakeholders. We also publish our Annual Audited Accountsseparately. A copy of the full set of accounts can be found on the About Us section of our website or you can request a copy from the Chief Operating Officer via
The following documents are also available on our website:

Please see the About Us section on our website for more information.

6.  Service levels and performance 

These standards set out our service commitment to artists and customers. 

DACS – our people

We promise to:
  • treat you fairly, honestly, reasonably and impartially regardless of whether or not you are a Member
  • be courteous and friendly whenever we speak to you
  • give our name whenever we are communicating with you
  • treat your enquiry strictly in confidence

General enquiries

We always aim to answer your enquiry the first time you contact us. Where we can’t, we will give you a time frame of when you can expect a full response from us.

When you contact DACS by phone, we will:
  • aim to answer all telephone calls within 5 rings
  • confirm you have got through to DACS by giving you our name and ask how we can help you
  • respond within 1 working day to requests for a telephone call back

When forwarding your call or taking a message we will:
  • take your name, phone number and your reason for calling to pass on to the DACS team member best placed to assist with your query
  • tell you who you are being transferred to, or who will call you back

When you write to us by post or email, we will:
  • respond to all letters within 5 working days
  • respond to all emails and faxes within 1 working day

When we contact you, we will:
  • give our name, job and reason for contacting you
  • use plain English
  • give you clear contact information for you to reply to us
  • and where applicable we will provide suitable explanatory materials

When you visit DACS, we will:
  • see you at our reception desks within 5 minutes of your arrival
  • see you on time if you have made an advanced appointment
  • offer you private interview facilities if your enquiry is confidential

Specific requests, enquiries and concern

Joining DACS:
  • We will respond to your enquiry about joining DACS within 1 working day.

Artists’ Services:
  • We will respond to your enquiry about the Artists’ Resale Right, Copyright Licensing or Payback within 1 working day.

Licensing an artwork:
  • We will respond to your initial licensing enquiry within 1 working day. Please allow up to 10 working days to obtain your licence from us. Some copyright owners ask that we consult them whenever a licence is requested and this means that the process may take time. Where we are unable to issue a licence within 10 working days we will be keep you updated on the progress of your application.

  • We will respond to your enquiry about royalty payments within 1 working day.


Our commitments

DACS is committed to:
  • complying with the terms of our Articles of Association, Membership Agreements, the Code of Conduct and any applicable legislation or other statute.
  • reviewing and updating our offers and striving for continuous improvement in quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness.
  • providing a fair and simple procedure for you to use in order to express dissatisfaction about any aspect of our activities.
  • training staff in relation to their obligations and commitments set out in this Code of Conduct or required under statute.
  • ensuring our building is wheelchair accessible
  • ensuring our website is accessible and complies with guidelines set out in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
  • treating all Members and non-member rightsholders fairly, honestly, reasonably, impartially and courteously.

7.  Personal information and our data policies

In order to carry out our activities we need to gather personal data about individuals, including addresses, bank details, telephone numbers, email addresses and information about artists’ works.
We are registered with the Information Commissioner as a Data Controller for the purposes of the relevant legislation, primarily the Data Protection Act 2018, which implements the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
We have set out the reasons why we obtain personal data, how we use it and what rights you have as a data subject in our Privacy Policy.

Read our full Privacy Policy on our website 

Your rights as a data subject include the right to access the personal data we hold about you.
Should you wish to access the personal data we may hold about you then you can request this from us in writing. Upon written request we will provide you with a readable copy of the personal data which we keep about you. We will respond to you within the time frame specified within the Data Protection Act 2018, which is generally within one month of receipt of the written request. We will provide the information without charge, but we may charge a reasonable fee for the administrative cost of providing the information where the request for information is unfounded, repetitive or excessive.
To request a copy of your personal data or if you require us to update any information we hold about you please inform us in writing, addressing your request to the Data Department using the contact details set out in Section 9 of this Code.

If you do not wish to receive direct marketing material from DACS you can inform us via the contact details in Section 9 of this Code.

8.  Complaints

Anyone who is dissatisfied with the activities that DACS undertakes can make a complaint. General complaints should follow the complaints procedure in DACS’s general Code of Conduct.
If you are a licensing customer or a prospective licensing customer you should follow this complaints procedure if you believe:
  • DACS has not complied with its service standards, privacy policies, terms and conditions or any obligation in this Code of Conduct
  • You have been incorrectly charged for a licensing fee and steps have not been taken to rectify this
  • You have received discourteous or unprofessional behaviour from DACS staff
  • You have faced unreasonable delays or DACS has failed to take action in dealing with you
  • You have received wrong or misleading information from DACS and steps have not been taken to rectify this
  • DACS has not complied with its obligations under the CRM Regulations

Internal Complaints Procedure

Step 1:     Address your communication to the Chief Operating Officer, who will respond to your complaint within 10 working days.

Step 2:     If you remain dissatisfied with our response to your complaint, let us know so that we can refer the matter to our Chief Executive.

Step 3:     In the event that you continue to remain dissatisfied with our response to your complaint, please let us know so that we can refer the matter to our Board of Directors, who will investigate the matter further.

You can make your complaint by telephone, email, or letter:

The Chief Operating Officer
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA
Phone: 020 7336 8811
At each stage of the complaints procedure, we will investigate the complaint thoroughly and objectively. We will respond to you comprehensively in writing within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. Where any such complaint is rejected we will set out the reasons for this in writing to you. 
We will strive to maintain the standards set out in the complaints procedure. However, in the event that we are unable to respond within the timescales we will let you know without delay.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal complaints procedure, or if you consider that your complaint has not been correctly handled, you may use any of the external complaints procedures set out below.

Copyright Tribunal

The Copyright Tribunal is an independent tribunal established to deal with disputes between collective management organisations and licensing customers or prospective licensing customers. The Copyright Tribunal can deal with complaints about DACS’ licensing terms and conditions or refusals to issue licences.
Read more information about the Copyright Tribunal

Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is a governmental department that monitors compliance with the CRM Regulations. The IPO have published guidance on the requirements of the CRM Regulations.
If you wish to progress a complaint beyond the internal complaints procedure that relates to DACS’ obligations under the CRM Regulations, you should provide the following to the IPO:
  • a clear, detailed description of what your concern is about, including what aspects of the CRM Regulations you believe may have been breached
  • copies of any correspondence with DACS related to the issue
  • contracts, terms and conditions or agreements, if applicable
  • any other supporting evidence
You can submit your information by email to or by post to:
Collective Rights 
4 Abbey Orchard Street 

Information Commissioner’s Office

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. If you have lodged a complaint with DACS about your privacy or personal data and you are not satisfied with the outcome of our internal complaints procedure or consider your complaint was incorrectly handed, you may lodge a complaint with the ICO.
You can contact the ICO by email to, using their helpline on 0303 123 1133 or by post to:
Customer Contact
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

9.  Contacting DACS

You can contact DACS by email, telephone, fax and post:

T: +44 (0)20 7336 8811
F: +44 (020) 7336 8822
Postal address: DACS, 33 Old Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6AA
Our website is at
Our office hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, when our reception staff are available on our main switchboard number.

Our website also lists all our staff and their direct telephone numbers and email addresses.

10.  Code review

DACS reviews its compliance in respect of the obligations under this Code regularly. DACS strives to review this Code of Conduct at least annually in line with relevant regulations. We will publish a report in our Annual Review which is publicly available. We will work with any other third parties appointed to oversee, review and report on the application and operation of our Code of Conduct.

Please note this Code has been updated to bring it in line with our new Articles of Association, which were adopted in September 2014 and last reviewed in September 2016 following our 2016 Annual General Meeting.

Last updated: 29 April 2019
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