Hi Taina,

Thanks for all the information you've been sending on this. I finally went ahead and signed up. I'm curious to see what comes of it! It would be great if it worked out.

I hope you're doing well!


Nicolle Fuller
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On Wed, Mar 6, 2019 at 9:12 AM Taina Litwak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi gang -  Here is the web site:  https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__membership.ascrl.org_&d=DwICaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=AGYZ7-AeerjxzYnIwL-lBLFI3SPYN3BDmku4qGQB4Tg&m=box4GWmJDCB-uParpm_xEeqypk4i6x7JCAvQHugdz-E&s=3arX3noSebtptf1xbh2XZNluAyZc8J7GSGJ8oEf8O1I&e=

Just got off the phone with one of the ASCRL Board members.  I think some of you have already signed up, but they have extended the deadline for the registration for the first $$$ distribution.  It looks like the first check will be several hundred dollars and there should be a few more distributions over the next year, and more into the future.  I really think its worth doing.  We work so hard and society rewards us so modestly. To review the details:

Where the money comes from:  There are collecting societies located in many countries, sometimes called collective management organizations (CMOs), or Reprographic Rights Organizations (RROs. These foreign collecting societies (seems to be several per country as some deal with music, some, film, some fine art, etc. get funds because various foreign laws require that the foreign CMOs and RROs be paid for certain uses of visual work that occur in the countries where the CMOs or RROs are located.  The payments are typically required where use of visual work is legally permitted by the foreign country without an individual author's consent or is legally permitted without an individual author's license. Some payments also come from taxes, levies, or fees on machines or equipment or other media that is used for copying in order to compensate rights owners.

ASCRL, a 501(c)(6) not for profit society, incorporated in 2015.  The foreign CMOs and RROs have been seeking assurence that the United States visual work copyright/or original creative rights owner in the United States receive fair treatment under their foreign laws concerning the reprographic funds they are collecting.  In some of these countries, no matter what rights the creative signed away, it is law that the "author" owned the rights forever.  Very different from US laws.  GAG and ASIP (which a bunch of us joined back in 2007 when they formed) have been talking about this for MANY years.

The core people who founded ASCRL decided that the best way to get the royalty $ from Europe and distribute it to individuals was to build a platform/system for it.  They/ASCRL received funding ($200,000) from two of the European RRO's to build the platform.  Quite a vote of confidence I think.  ASCRL's platform/system took several years to develop, and is finally ready. 

Rights owners (and this means all of us as the creators, even if we have sold away our copyrights in the US) join ASCRL and become eligible to receive the reprographic funds.  This should work out to be a small but continuous income stream for all of us.   Right now, ASCRL has $316,742 to distribute to American Illustrators, and more coming under already signed agreements.  THAT'S a lot of $$$$.  It's being set up to distribute the $300,000 to illustrators over the next 18 months as 3 separate "claims".  Once you join, you also sign onto as many claims as are open that you qualify for (some will be for photography only). So each of us will be eligible to sign on for all 3 claims on this first pool of $.

Sign up on the web site.  You give them bank info when you register and money is transfered to your account in an ACH payment (bank to bank). This Feb. 28th is the deadline for the first distribution.  The first payments will go out to us c. end of March. I am anxious to see how well this works.  The more of us who sign up the better it will be.  The number of illustrators who are signed up and making claims on this first pool is low.

The distributions will use a formula based on the number of illustrations published and the number of incidences of publication.  What you put down is currently on the honor system, but it is subject to audit by ASCRL, so having the list ready is important.  For us with big numbers, this is daunting.  For this month, do a rough estimate.  But very soon be prepared to make a list with solid numbers (so titles and ISBN numbers and number of illustrations). 

The faster ASCRL's membership grows, the more foreign RR Societies will release money to them to disburse to us.  One German society has over $1 million collected for U.S. illustrators and it is waiting to see if ASCRL's new system works to release that money to them.  Let me know if you join.  I'll be polling people in April to see if you are happy with how the first distribution worked. 

If you have more questions, please call me.  Cell: 240-750-9245.


Taina Litwak
Litwak Illustration Studio
13029 Chestnut Oak Drive
Darnestown, MD 20878

mobile: 240-750-9245

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