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Process and timescale to license a work

Understand the steps and timings involved in licensing a work, from start to finish.

How licensing works

1. Use our artist search to check if we represent the artist or rights holder.

2. Use our licensing request form or speak to our team on +44 (0) 20 7780 7550 about sourcing specific images.

3. We provide a quote and let you know how long it may take. Some copyright owners ask to be consulted, and may only allow use according to the situation.

4. We’ll set up a licensing agreement for you. We keep in touch with you throughout the process, negotiate with the copyright holder on your behalf, and do our best to fit your timescales.

5. You then contact the copyright holder to request the high-resolution image file for the image(s) you have licensed through DACS.


Allow at least 10 working days to obtain a licence. We respond to requests made using the DACS licensing request form within 24 hours, and let you know at that point how long it may potentially take.

Some artists, beneficiaries and estates ask us to consult them whenever a licence is requested, this takes time.

Time required for the process also depends on how contactable the artist or estate is, and where they are located in the world.

Request to license a work

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How it works, for artists, beneficiaries and estates

When you join DACS Licensing service, you sign a membership agreement that clearly explains how we’ll manage the licensing of your work.

Clients use our online licensing request form to get in touch with us about licensing your work. If requests come to you directly, these can be sent onto our Licensing Team to take forward for you.

We negotiate the terms of the request and agree a royalty fee, based on the reach and commerciality of the use.

Once approved, we arrange a licence with the client, clearly agreeing the terms of the use.

We then invoice and collect the royalty fee due to you.

We pay out licensing royalties 4 times a year and you’ll receive a statement each time we pay you.

Earn through licensing work you own the copyright on

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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.