Artists have just over five weeks left to claim their share of £5.5 million of royalties made available through the Design and Artists Copyright Society‘s (DACS) annual Payback scheme.

The process applies to those whose work has been republished, such as the photocopying and scanning of work in books and magazines, or the recording or re-broadcasting of artwork in TV programmes.

Last year alone 25,000 visual artists and estates claimed Payback, and their individual payments – made just in time for Christmas – ranged from £25 to around £3,770. The popularity of Payback is reflected in the £43.5 million it has distributed in total since DACS set it up over 15 years ago.

Painter Julie Umerle said: “When I started to collate the information for my claim, I was surprised by the number of places where my work had been published. Each year, I put the royalties I receive towards studio rent, my biggest overhead expense. Essential and appreciated, they help me continue with my practice.”

Children’s book author and illustrator, Benji Davies, said Payback had enabled him to buy new equipment and contributed to studio costs. “When the royalties come through it’s a friendly slap on the back – a similar feeling to receiving a Christmas bonus (I imagine!). It always feels like an unexpected and very welcome reward when the statement pops up in my inbox.”

DACS receives Payback royalties to distribute from various collective licensing schemes operated by organisations such as the Copyright Licensing Agency and the Educational Recording Agency. The fees are in addition to the copyright fees artists might receive when their work is first published or used on TV.

The deadline for online applications is 30 September 2016. Apply here for your share of £5.5 million in Payback royalties 

1. Payback artist and illustrator Benji Davies. Courtesy DACS
2. Julie Umerle. Photography © Brian Benson, 2016

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