Photographers can recover unclaimed royalties for work published in books and magazines in a scheme launched by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS).

Payback 2015, which is open for applications until 30 September, allows visual artists, illustrators and photographers to claim royalties for the re-use of published artwork.

DACS says the scheme enables applicants to recover royalties for secondary use of work published in books and magazines, such as photocopying or scanning. Or work published in the recording or re-broadcasting of TV programmes.

DACS collects revenue from organisations for the books and magazines they photocopy, for example, giving it a ‘pot of money’ to pass on to artists who can apply for their share.

‘This year we have over £4 million in royalties to distribute to visual artists and other beneficiaries,’ says DACS on its website.

In the case of UK books and magazines, the applicant would need to supply DACS with the number of publications their work has appeared in; plus the ISBN or ISSN numbers of up to six examples.

Last year, DACS said it paid royalties to more than 20,000 artists and estates, ranging from £25 to more than £4,100.

DACS takes 18% of the royalty to cover costs in the scheme, which has been running for 15 years.

Among previous claimants is music photographer Kevin Cummins who said: ‘When you’re freelance you need all the support you can get. It’s especially hard when you’re young and starting out.

‘Knowing there’s somebody like DACS, prepared to work on your behalf to get money from sources you don’t really even know exist is reassuring.’

Cummins added: ‘Payback is a nice bonus. The royalty comes as a lump sum and just before Christmas – the right time for a lot of people.’

For full details visit www.dacs.org.uk