Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A message from C.F. Payne about ASIP

Hi Cincinnati Illustrators,

Chris Payne here. I serve as the National Cartoonist Society representative with the American Society of Illustrators. The NCS is one of 12 artists’ organizations within the ASIP working to defend and protect artists’ rights. Last year the ASIP brought together 85 authors groups together to successfully defeat the Orphaned Works Bill proving what we can do when we mobilize and work together. But as you can imagine, the Orphaned Works Bill can be re-introduced, so artists can’t afford to stand still. For the last few months there has been little to report, until now.

Late last year Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner returned from Oslo, Norway and the latest IFRRO conference. IFRRO (International Federation of Reprographics Rights Organization) is the international organization with the mission of protecting artists’ reprographics rights. Reprographic rights are copyrights collectively licensed for publication in compilations such as book, magazines, newspapers and such publications. Any artist, including NCS members whose work has appeared in a book, magazine and newspaper is a reprographic rights holder.

In the US, such works are routinely copied for multiple reproduction with no established means to pay the rights holder a licensing fee or royalty. Unrealistically, it is the responsibility of the individual rights holder to enforce such payments.

Other parts of the world have addressed this problem by establishing Reprographic Rights Organizations (RRO) or Copyrights Societies. These organizations represent artists for reprographic rights ONLY.

Business, corporations, institutions and universities in these other countries are able to negotiate and pay a fee to the RRO for a blanket license to photocopy all relevant printed material for a specific time period. These agreements serve as an insurance policy, protecting the user against any possible lawsuits for copyright infringements.

The fee collected are collected and distributed, less administrative costs, to those rights holders who have signed mandates that authorize the RRO to represent them for their reprographic rights. These mandates apply to only artists reprographic rights, thus all copyrights of artists work remain the property of the artist. Any rights holder has the explicit right to opt out or cancel his/her mandate at any time.

For many years, other countries have successfully licensed RRO’s, collecting and distributing royalty payments to rights holders. Meanwhile, in the United States where more art and publishing is done than anywhere else and distributed around the world, royalties due to American rights holders are collected in foreign countries and sent back to the US. Yet, those royalties have not been distributed back the reprographic rights holders.

To better help defend the copyrights of artists and serve as our Copyright Society for the express purpose of collecting blanket reprographic license fees for distribution to US artists, the ASIP must demonstrate it has the “mandates” to do so. Therefore, any illustrator who can demonstrated that their work have been collected in works such as books, magazines or other publications should sign the ASIP mandate, authorizing the ASIP to represent them as their collecting society for reprographic rights purposes ONLY.

Next year’s IFRRO Annual Conference will be held in Boston. Having the conference in the US an important statement for the US as it relates to the issues of reprographics and artist copyrights protections.

As we approach that meeting in Boston, with a strong showing, a powerful statement can be made. The more SIGNED and RECORDED mandates, the more power the ASIP will bring to the table at the conference with such issues as defending artists rights should the Orphaned Works Bill resurface and with collecting and distributing reprographic royalties.

Again, it should be noted, right now, artists in the US are getting nothing. The mandate is for reprographic rights ONLY. Any artist who signs, may opt out at time in the future. A ton of work is being done on our behalf by the ASIP. The encouragement the ASIP has received at this last conference in Oslo is meaningful. Let us not miss this opportunity to take a big step forward. A lot of work is ahead. Give our ASIP representatives the tangible support that will better position them at this important upcoming IFRRO Conference in Boston.

I encourage you to download, carefully review the material and sign up to support the ASIP in the effort. When you sign up please send the Authorization Agreement to:

c/o Terry Brown
9 Foster Place
Pleasantville, NY 10570

If you have already signed up, thank you. If you have any questions e-mail me.

Thank you,
CF Payne

Note: There are documents associated with this post. If you are interested, email me and I will forward them...

Here is a website for more info: http://asip-repro.org/


  1. So no protection for online works?

  2. It is not about that. It is a push to get the money collected from other countries from a fee libraries, schools and other intitutions pay to copy from publications and distribute ito to illustrators with published work. In other countries, the money collected goes to artists. In the US it goes to Graphica Arts Guild, Society of Illustrators and other organizations since there is no means to distrubute it to the artists.