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DACS pays out £4.7 million in Payback royalties to artists and estates

Artist Pogus Caesar in his studio
Photograph © Chris Waggot, 2019.

Tens of thousands of artists, estates and their representatives receive their annual Payback payment from DACS.

For many working artists, Payback is the first DACS service they encounter. We’re always delighted to follow the joy of an artist’s early publication in books or magazines with a well-deserved royalty payment. This year we paid out a total of £4.7 million.

Payback royalties are an important source of income for visual artists, helping to pay for materials, studio rent and bills. Artists claiming in 2019 received payments that ranged from £25 to £600. The highest payment for work published in UK books, magazines and broadcast on television was £3,000.

A lovely surprise when I logged into my bank account to pay a bill (boo!) to find a payment there from DACS (yay!) Their support for artists makes such a difference, and not just a financial one.

Garen Ewing

How it works

Payback is an annual collective licensing scheme which pays artists for the reuse of artworks that have been published in UK books, magazines and shown on television. It’s a milestone that follows artists throughout their career, as many Payback claimants have been claiming every year since 1999.

That feeling when it's only the first week of the month but most of your salary is gone then a payment unexpectedly turns up in your bank account for something you've done years ago.

Rita Lazaro
Artist, picture book author and illustrator

Submitting claims

Each year, artists are encouraged to submit both Payback and Publication History claim forms. The latter ‘tops up’ royalty payments if an artist’s publication information matches the Copyright Licensing Agency’s photocopying data. Making your claim as accurate as possible therefore increases your chances of maximising your royalty.

This year we saw a huge increase in artists making the most of this opportunity, with 85% submitting a Publication History claim. It’s worth applying as the number of artists receiving royalties from their Publication History claim more than doubled in 2019.

That happy moment when you check your bank account and there's more there than you thought.

Jackie Garner

Get set for Payback 2020

The success of Payback would not be possible without the support of our members who have put their trust in DACS for 20 years. If you think you may be eligible, find out how to apply and join our mailing list to be notified when submissions open.

Just had my Payback, well worth taking the time to look into if you haven’t already and create photography/artwork that is published in the UK.

Chris Lanaway