NUJ to photographers: watch out!
YOU MAY be aware that BAPLA, the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, has issued a press release announcing that it is planning to set up a collecting society in competition with DACS, the Design and Artists Collecting Society. DACS is the collecting society through which many or most NUJ photographers currently get payment for their secondary rights, those that it is impractical for them to collect themselves, for example, photocopying of publications containing their work.
The NUJ is looking for details of what BAPLA is proposing. In the meantime, your Union's advice is: do not sign or accept any new deal that you may be offered or presented with.
Some agencies may take the view that it is implicit in a photographer's contract that they collect everything, including secondary rights, and therefore do not need to ask permission to switch collection of your money to a new agency. Beware any letters "clarifying" arrangements.Contact firstname.lastname@example.org about challenging them.
Those photographers who signed the new DACS agreement last year, before receiving their annual payment, granted DACS the exclusive - repeat, exclusive - right to collect on their behalf. If you have not already signed up to receive money through DACS, you can do so at www.dacs.org.uk