Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society forms

These are the essential forms that writers need to complete to get payments for photocopying of their work and some other secondary uses, through ALCS (the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society). Why? See What's it all about, then?

See also current forms on the ALCS site.

Photographers, illustrators, cartoonists and allied trades need to contact the DACS, the Design & Artists Collecting Society, instead.

All the forms are PDFs and to read or print them you need the free Acrobat reader - or alternatively the even free-er GhostView. If you already have an older version, see the tip below.

Trouble opening the forms?

TIP: If you have an older (smaller, much faster and generally better) version of Acrobat installed, it may pretend that some forms made with newer versions do not exist. It's lying. If this happens:

  • Right-click the link above (or click and hold if you use a Mac);
  • Choose Save Link Target As... or the synonym that you see;
  • Choose where to put it on your hard disk;
  • Now start your Acrobat program, and under the File menu select Open;
  • Tell your Acrobat program where you just put the form;
  • et voilá!

What's it all about, then?

Writers and photographers are entitled to extra money from companies and organisations that photocopy their work. To be sure of receiving this, and other payments for such "secondary uses" UK freelances need to register with ALCS (for writers) and/or DACS (for photographers, illustrators, etc).

How these payments generally work is that libraries, press offices and others who do bulk copying pay a licence fee to the collecting society. This arranges a survey of a sample of licensees, to work out statistically how to distribute it. Efforts continue to deliver the share of this money due to newspapers' contributors.

These "collecting societies" also distribute money collected for secondary uses in other countries - including, for example, Public Lending Right from Germany and the Netherlands.

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Last modified: 19 Feb 2006

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