DACS investigates Payback Statements on Authorisation

    DACS is aware of, and are currently investigating, a number of claims raised by individuals in relation to Payback claims made by Rex Features Ltd, where authorisation forms have been submitted to DACS bearing false signatures.

    As part of our standard procedures DACS requires all picture libraries and agents to submit an authorisation form signed by each artist for whom they are claiming before we can issue royalties. This is to ensure that there is a visible chain of title for each claim being made.
    Following concerns raised by individual Payback claimants, and DACS’ standard due diligence checks, we became aware of discrepancies in paperwork submitted to us by Rex Features Ltd, an established, international photo library. We note that the organisation has since said to their contributors that a "number of Rex contributors' authorisation forms were fraudulently signed by a Rex employee" and submitted to DACS as a basis for Payback payments.
    DACS took immediate action by broadening its investigation, and are in the process of contacting all Rex Features Ltd claimants to validate their Payback authorisations.
    DACS is very concerned about individual claimants losing out through these activities and is investigating with due diligence, working closely with artists and their agents to invalidate any unauthorised claims.
    We are working quickly and diligently to carry out the remaining checks so that Payback royalty payments can be paid as soon as possible.
    DACS has been a trusted broker of the annual Payback scheme for over 15 years. We are absolutely committed to working with artists to ensure they get their fair share of royalties due as we know these payments help support artists to make a living from their practice and develop their work.
    This year, a record number of visual artists and artists’ estates claimed for almost £4.7 million in Payback royalties from DACS. With more than 25,000 claimants, DACS is seeing more artists and estates benefit from Payback royalties than ever before. Royalties are an important income source for artists, and with individual payments ranging from £25 to around £3,770, Payback supports vital expenses including studio rent, artist materials and equipment, and tax returns. The median claim value this year is £275.
    For any other queries or further questions, please contact Sebastian May, Communications Manager at DACS on 020 7553 9064 or sebastian.may@dacs.org.uk.

    Notes to editor

    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 90,000 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 Resale Rights and Copyright Licensing. Visit dacs.org.uk for more information about DACS and its services.

    About Payback

    Payback is an annual scheme managed by DACS. It is open to visual artists and estates for all types of published artwork, from fine art and photography to design and illustration. Royalties come from collective licences which allow ‘secondary reproductions’ of artwork, such as photocopies of photographs in magazines and books, or the repeat broadcast of TV programmes featuring artists’ work.
    DACS retains a percentage of the money we collect for Payback to cover administrative costs. For 2016 we have reduced this percentage from 18% to 16%, whilst striving to continue to further reduce this percentage in years to come.
    Payback will open again in summer 2016. Further information about the scheme can be found at dacs.org.uk/for-artists/payback.
    Applications for DACS’s Dutch Public Lending Right Scheme remain open until 6 January 2016. To find out more please visit dacs.org.uk/for-artists/payback/dutch-plr.


    Posted on 18/12/2015 by Laura Ward-Ure