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Licensing your work for others to use

In 2022, DACS secured a total of £1.4 million for artists, creators and estates through licensing.

You can license other people to use your work, setting your own fees. If you choose to license your work, you keep the copyright, and can continue to receive royalty payments generated from the use of your work.

Copyright can also be given away or sold: to someone else, a group of people, or a company. In these cases, you transfer the copyright to them. This means you have no control over how your work is used in the future, and you may lose your right to receive royalty payments.

Copyright owner rights

Copyright owners have the following exclusive rights:

  • reproduction right (right to copy the work)
  • distribution right (right to issue copies of the work to the public)
  • rental or lending right (right to rent or lend the work to the public)
  • right to communicate the work to the public by broadcasting or electronic transmission

This means the copyright owner decides whether anyone else is allowed to reproduce their work, or to distribute, rent, borrow, or communicate copies of their work.

What to do if someone uses your work without your permission

Licensing your work

You can license the copyright of your work, so that someone else can pay you to use it. This could be to a publisher that wants to use it in a book, magazine, or on TV, or a gallery that wants to sell prints and products.

DACS acts as a broker, handling negotiations between artists, creators, beneficiaries and the people who want to use their work. We'll help you protect and make money from your work by licensing it.

License your work

Find out how DACS can help you make money from your work.

License your work


The content of this article is not intended to be applied to individual circumstances. It is not legal advice, and is not a substitute for independent legal advice.

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How long copyright lasts in the UK