Heads up published illustrators! Back in 2007, the GNSI and 11 other professional illustration groups joined up to form the American Society of Illustrator’s Partnership, Inc. (ASIP), a 501c-6 non-profit. One of the goals of the organization was to begin collecting and distributing to individual member illustrators, money that Reprographic Rights Organizations (RRO’s) in Europe and around the world collect for American publications. No distributions have been made to date, but ASIP has entered into an agreement with a privately held company the - Artist Rights Society (ARS) to do this. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights interests of over 40,000 fine artists members and their estates from around the world.
ARS is a privately help company, not a non-profit. ARS is now recruiting illustrators to be members. There is no fee for membership. You supply ARS with your name, birth date and contact information. To join, download the pdf Member Agreement from the ARS website. It is a simple form. Return it to ARS via email or via postal mail. ARS will return a counter-signed agreement to you and will then send you a W-9 form to fill out for any payments due you. You will then be assigned a unique ID called an IPI number, an Interested Parties Information (system) number, which some RRO’s require for tracking distributions.
ARS is getting ready to do its first distribution of money (I believe under $50,000 this go-round) to ARS member illustrators, at some point this winter. Some of this money is collective, some title specific. I believe you can still be eligible for this first distribution of money if you sign up with them right away. There are other forms that must be filled in with specific publication data including ISBN numbers, listing your work published between 1995 and 2018. SO I assume that some of the funds they have to give out are title specific. These forms are not due till later in March, and only relate to one European society’s funds. Here is the website:
There is another organization, The American Society for Collective Rights Licensing, Inc. (ASCRL), a not-for-profit collective management organization (CMO), which is also recruiting illustrators to sign with them to receive reprographic royalty money. Much of this money is collective, not title specific.
ASCRL (a non-profit 501 c-6) was founded by a group of photographers and illustrators in 2015, specifically to collect overseas royalties and distribute them to its members (visual art authors and rights owners). Their mission is to provide illustrators and photographers with an ongoing revenue stream from reprographic funds. ACSRL is ready to do a distribution of funds to illustrators who are ASCRL members. ASCRL now has $316,742 to distribute, under renewing agreements to provide a yearly income stream, has tacit commitments to distribute another 1.2 million in 2019, and is in final contract stages with 3 other countries. Also critical, the funds are available to all published illustrators, and almost all is nontitle specific. Because of their non-profit status, they are obligated to do with full financial reports available annually.
To sign up go to their website.
An illustrator cannot be a member of both groups. This has been an issue and topic of discussion among American illustrators for most of my 37 year career, great to experience the first fruition. This all seems to be a very positive development for US illustrators!
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