Artists, photographers and illustrators get their Payback

    Millions of pounds in royalties are available for visual artists who have had their work published in UK books, magazines or shown on TV, through the annual Payback scheme run by DACS, the UK’s flagship visual artists’ rights management organisation.

    • Applications are now open for visual artists to claim their share of millions in Payback royalties - closing 4 May 2018.
    • Last year 38,000 artists received a share of £4 million via DACS.
    • To date more than £50 million in Payback royalties have been distributed to visual artists.
    • Royalties come from collective licensing schemes that license the use of photocopying and scanning of copyright-protected works in UK books, magazines and TV broadcasts. 

    Payback royalties come from the re-use of published artwork, such as the photocopying and scanning of work in books and magazines, or the recording or re-broadcasting of work in TV programmes. 
    DACS has successfully run the Payback scheme for 17 years, distributing over £50 million in total. From 15 January until 4 May 2018 visual artists can again apply for their share in collective licensing royalties via
    These royalties are an important income source for visual artists. Last year, 38,000 visual artists and estates received over £4 million in Payback royalties via DACS and their individual payments - ranged from £25 to around £5,400.

    What Payback Artists have to say:

    Payback member and illustrator, Helen Cann, said:

    “Do it. It’s almost like free money! And put the closing date in your diary so you send the form off in time. Royalties have always been a great little extra pot of cash each year that I haven’t had to work very hard for!”  


    Artist, Catherine Yass said: 

    “I’ve been claiming Payback for a few years now – it can help to cover pre-production tests and experiments that don’t necessarily get budgeted into production costs… Just as I might pay someone for hiring a camera or a meal cooked in a cafĂ©, DACS provides a way of being paid for the use of my work.” 


    Cartoonist, Clive Goddard said:

    “Payback is great. Being freelance means huge fluctuations in income. As well as the much needed supplement to a precarious income it’s nice to know that someone out there understands and cares and takes us seriously enough to provide this resource.” 

    All types of visual artists whose works are copyright-protected are eligible to apply, from fine artists and photographers to designers and illustrators.  Beneficiaries of visual artists can also claim as well as picture libraries on behalf of their contributors. 

    The royalties come from a range of collective licensing schemes – the main one being the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), which sells photocopying and scanning licences to business, schools and universities, and central and local government. DACS distributes a share of the revenue to visual artists, ensuring they are remunerated when their published artistic works are re-used. In 2017, DACS distributed almost 90% of the total royalties available to visual artists from the CLA.
    For more information, please contact Joanne Milmoe, Communications Manager at DACS on 020 7553 9064 or




    Notes to editors:

    About DACS

    Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit organisation for visual artists’ rights management. Passionate about transforming the financial landscape for visual artists through innovative new products and services, DACS acts as a trusted broker for 100,000 artists worldwide. 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 collects and distribute royalties to visual artists and their estates through three royalty schemes: Payback, Artist’s Resale Right and Copyright Licensing. Visit for more information about DACS and its services.
    As a not-for-profit organisation, DACS retains a share of the royalties we collect on your behalf to cover our costs and we are always seeking ways to reduce this percentage. Over the past years, we have reduced our Payback administration fee from an initial 25% to the current rate of 16%.
    Payback is part of an established portfolio of services run by DACS which support visual artists to make a living from their practice and develop their work. There continues to be no cost to register with us.
    Additional Payback Resources
    For more information about Payback, please visit:
    Additional questions and artists’ interviews:
    For image requests or more information, please contact Joanne Milmoe, Communications Manager at DACS on 020 7553 9064 or

    Posted on 18/01/2018 by Laura Ward-Ure