Mind Your Business: Who is Keeping Your Royalties?
The second way businesses and institutions can pay for photocopy permission is to buy a blanket license to photocopy represented content. The CCC calls theirs an Annual Copyright License. Their website states, "One license, usage rights to millions of content sources." Their site also states, "CCC's Annual License covers nearly a million titles."
This reads to me that a business which purchases an annual copyright license from the CCC has permission to make photocopies of many, but not necessarily all, of the materials and content the CCC represents. Blanket license fee is a standard industry term used by collecting societies that, to me, means the same thing as CCC's Annual Copyright License, but should include any licensing agreement with any company that covers all of that company's/institutions content sources. From the General Papers of IFRRO , see #5, Concluding Remarks: "Collective administration organizations normally operate with uniform tariffs and conditions (blanket licensing)."
I'm sure the CCC makes payments to the publishers based on pay-per-use purchases of the publishers materials (One of my publishers confirmed that they do) and I'm want to assume they have some way of determining payment amounts to publishers and authors based on the collected Annual Copyright License fees, but I have not been able to confirm that.
So what happens then?
As an author, I should see my share of any blanket license fee paid to my publishers on the royalty statements provided by my publishers. As a published illustrator, I think I should also receive royalties from my portion of pay-per-use licenses where my copyright protected illustrations were featured and from overall blanket licenses. And so should you.
Illustrators, unlike authors, do not usually have an option of making a simple phone call to their publishers' royalty department. You could talk to your editors and publishers, but they will most likely just blow you off.
Working alone, you would likely have to file a major lawsuit and you still wouldn't be able to collect those royalties without a collecting society.
This means we need to form a collecting society mandated/authorized by a majority of the rights holder class to begin to clear our rights and thereby receive earned royalties.
As an illustrator, my art has been in many books, blogs, magazines and newspapers, and I've never seen a dime in reprographic royalties. That's because there's no group I know of in the U.S. set up to collect and deliver payments to illustrators.
But there is a way for you to receive reprographic royalties in cash for your published illustrations.
The ASIP (American Society of Illustrators Partnership) is a coalition of 12 illustrator organizations and independent illustrators formed in 2007 to bring accountability to the reprographic rights of the American graphic artist.
The ASIP is a non-profit organization, legally chartered to act as a collecting society for you, the published illustrator.