As we look ahead to 2020, we want to notify you of some changes to Payback that will come into effect in the new year.

Why are these changes taking place?

For many working artists, Payback is the first DACS service they encounter. We are proud that so many artists claim royalties every year. Since the service was established in 1999, we have distributed over £50 million in Payback royalties to artists and their representatives.

Due to the success of Payback, we have more people claiming than ever. This is fantastic news but puts increasing pressure on the money available; the majority of which is calculated by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) each year.

Our main priority is making sure the scheme is fair and continues to be a source of royalties for artists long into the future.

We have therefore had to rethink some elements of how we share out the Payback money. We have undertaken a huge amount of research and analysis into how we can make the scheme fairer and more sustainable. After a lot of consideration, we are making two important changes which we want to share with you.

What's changing

Our minimum payment policy is changing

DACS has always offered a minimum royalty payment of £25, which we’ve done since 1999. If an artist’s royalty claim was less than £25, their payment was topped up to make sure they received this amount. The money used to top up lower claims came from the overall Payback royalty money we receive.
 
We have done this for 20 years but are unable to continue due to the increase in people claiming. We want to be fair to all artists who claim Payback royalties, for years to come, so we must focus on the most accurate way of calculating royalty payments.
 
Every accurate claim will still receive a payment every year, no matter the royalty amount.

We are changing how we share money from the Publication History pot

An increasing share of the Payback money comes from the Publication History pot. This is the money paid out according to the ISBNs and ISSNs you provide. You are paid when your data matches the lists of books and magazines held by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). In 2020 this pot of money will be 30% of the money available from the CLA (up from 25% the year before).
 
Sharing money according to accurate data makes the scheme fairer for everyone claiming royalties.
 
When the Publication History pot was introduced in 2017, we wanted royalty payments to be balanced fairly. Having looked at data from the last three years, we are changing our method for dividing the money, to ensure the best value for everyone claiming royalties.
 
Until now, we have shared the Publication History money, based on how many images matched to a publication. We haven’t taken into consideration how often a publication is copied. We will do this going forward.
 
From 2020 the royalties you receive from the Publication History pot will be calculated according to this method to support the fairest possible method for dividing the money.
 
The share of royalties paid according to matched data will continue to grow, so we encourage people to make a Publication History claim.

If you have any questions about the changes, you can contact us at payback@dacs.org.uk or by calling +44 (0) 20 7553 9099.