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What is Payback?

Joining DACS Payback means you get an annual royalty payment if your work or work you own the copyright to was published in a book or magazine or used in a TV programme.

Payback explained

Our Payback service distributes money to artists, creators and their beneficiaries annually for certain reuses of their work. This could be in printed or digital publications, on TV, through photocopying, scanning, recording and by retransmission. We distribute the royalty payments to you. It’s free to join.

In 2023, 92,000 artists, creators, beneficiaries and their representatives claimed a share of over £5.3 million in Payback royalties.

Eligibility for Payback royalties

All artists and creators, including illustrators, sculptors, photographers, cartoonists, designers and architects, may be eligible. Beneficiaries and heirs of artists or creators can also claim Payback.

You're eligible for Payback royalties if:

  • you own the copyright for the works you are claiming for
  • your work has ever appeared in a UK book, magazine or TV programme
  • you can provide examples and proof of where your work has featured

How our Payback service works

We receive royalties from CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) and ERA (Educational Recording Agency) or other licensing agencies, like NLA (Newspaper Licensing Agency). We distribute the amount received among artists who have joined DACS Payback.

You cannot collect these royalties yourself directly from the agencies. We’re one of a few organisations authorised to do this for you.

As a not-for-profit organisation, DACS currently makes a 15% admin deduction from your Payback royalties to cover our costs. By making efficiencies we’re steadily reducing this amount: in 2007 this deduction was 25%.

What do I need to do?

  1. Create a DACS Payback account and agree to the terms and conditions.
  2. Add your bank account details — keep these up to date.
  3. Submit your claim between January and April each year, detailing the use of your work(s).
  4. DACS pays the royalties into your bank account each Autumn.
  5. DACS saves the data you submit for you to use again on next year’s claim.

Payback terms and conditions

When you claim Payback, you become a member and agree to the mandate in the Payback terms and conditions. To make sure you're clear on what Payback membership means, we've outlined the legal terms of your agreement below:

  • The Payback Membership agreement is an exclusive licence to negotiate, claim and administer your secondary rights only.
  • This exclusive licence and mandate only extends to DACS’ management of rights on a collective basis and does not transfer any authority to DACS to issue individual primary licences on your behalf.
  • You do not transfer any ownership of copyright to DACS.

You can read the full mandate in the Payback terms and conditions.

Next section:
Where Payback money comes from