Illustrators May Now Be Able to Capture Back Royalties on their Orphan Works

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According to the Illustrators’ Partnership Orphan Works Blog, “a list of illustrators, designers and photographers has been made public who may now claim their reprographic fees.”

At issue was a million dollar lawsuit brought by the Graphic Artist Guild against the Illustrators’ Partnership that was dismissed by the New York State Supreme Court when it was discovered that the Guild had collected over a million dollars in royalties on behalf of the illustrators who created the works, yet had never distributed any of the money to the artists.

According to the Illustrators’ Partnership, “The names on the list range from some of the best known artists in our field to many whose identity we can’t be sure of. We’ve already contacted our own members to alert them.

“Now we urge any artist who has ever done published work to follow the instructions below to see if your name is on the list and if so, to learn what you’ll have to do to claim your royalties.

“The royalties involved are title-specific fees. That means it’s money derived from the foreign licensing of books or other publications where a single author can be identified by the foreign collecting societies that monitor usage and collect usage fees.

“The sums owed to any individual may not be large. Still, we believe that paying artists what they’re due constitutes both an important principle and establishes a precedent for retaining our rights in the digital era.”

This is a major step forward for illustrators and for fine artists as well.  Read the whole story at http://ipaorphanworks.blogspot.com/2011/11/money-for-artists.html.

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(c) Lance J. Klass.  All Rights Reserved.  This article may not be reproduced with the expressed written permission of the author. 

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