Thursday 19 February 2015

CLA-DACS payback dispute: a reader asks ...

The following passage, posted in mid-December on the Association of Illustrators (AOI) website (here), has been drawn to this blogger's attention by one of our readers:
"Payback royalties derive from licences that are negotiated by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), and DACS shares these royalties with other parties such as publishers - which amount to over £4 million per year for Payback claimants.

Payments are made as part of a long-standing agreement between DACS and the CLA, but CLA have told DACS that they believe that they are no longer bound by this agreement. DACS has insisted that the existing agreement must continue until its scheduled end date of September 2017, to help manage the transition to any new arrangements and protect claimants incomes in the interim. So far the CLA has not accepted this. This dispute has the potential to affect Payback in 2015 and beyond".
Our reader wants to know if anything has happened since. If anyone knows, can they assist by posting a comment below.


DACS said...

Payback is a well-established scheme that DACS has run for over a decade on an annual basis benefiting tens of thousands of visual artists. Payback distributes royalties for secondary uses of works by photographers, illustrators, and fine artists amongst others (Payback members). DACS receives these royalties from a variety of collective licensing schemes, the main one being through an agreement with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). This agreement is now being challenged by the CLA.

DACS called on the support of the Association of Illustrators, Association of Photographers, Editorial Photographers UK, and the National Union of Journalists to help us protect the current Payback scheme. They asked their members to provide data to help determine the share of CLA monies due to visual artists (through CLA’s valuation process), and to provide any evidence of where claimants were being placed under pressure to sign away secondary rights.

However, CLA has so far not accepted that the current arrangement should continue until at least September 2017 and is trying to force a different solution that would curtail and possibly risk the future of the Payback scheme.

In the meantime, DACS has sought mediation to resolve the dispute with the CLA and has also brought the issue to the attention of Members of Parliament and the Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe. The dispute with the CLA was brought up in a House of Lords debate, which evidences the fact that the possible loss to visual artists is being taken seriously. A date for the mediation has been set for March.

DACS is taking this matter very seriously and is working hard to achieve a solution that safeguards the rights of Payback members. DACS is committed to finding the best possible solution for visual artists and we will keep our members updated on these issues and the outcome of the dispute with the CLA. If any readers have previously provided data for the valuation process or evidence of pressure to sign away rights, please get in touch if you have any questions:

Anonymous said...

Re "CLA has so far not accepted that the current arrangement should continue"

Has there been any CLA statement as to to why it does not accept the current arrangement?

Joel Midgley (for CLA) said...

CLA response to The 1709 Blog

DACS is currently in disagreement with CLA on the form of relationship between us. It is hoped, however, that a resolution will be reached soon through mediation scheduled for early March.

The backdrop to this is that CLA is currently updating – and potentially expanding – its membership structure in line with recent legal and regulatory changes in the UK and EU.

An independent valuation exercise, supported by ALCS, PLS and two other artistic rights holder bodies (which DACS has been invited to participate in), has also commenced in order to ensure that CLA's revenues are apportioned appropriately between rights holders. The IPO is well aware of these initiatives.

In the meantime CLA continues to take its statutory obligations - including in relation to rights holder distributions - very seriously.

Anonymous said...

Re "CLA is currently updating – and potentially expanding – its membership structure "
Does that mean that the CLA might pay royalties to illustrators and the like, directly, rather than through DACS?