Monday, 18 November 2019
For anyone who doesn't know, the Authors' Licensing Collection and Collecting Society (ALCS) is an organisation which collects and distributes money which is owed to authors when their work is published in magazines. This applies to fiction, non-fiction and visual work. You must state that you own the copyright in order to claim. Newspapers don't qualify, so there's nothing due from stories published in The Weekly News.
You're not obliged to make a claim if you'd rather not, but not doing so means you miss out on money which is due to you.
More info on ALCS can be found in this guest post by Carol Bevitt and from their website.
Labels: ALCS, money matters
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Sorry for my ignorance, Patsy,but does this mean there's a deadline every year? Do you have to register that years work by this time each year? Sorry, wasn't sure how it worked
Important reminder at this time of year, Patsy.
Every year there are writers who haven't joined yet, and even if they've only had a couple of small items published it's still worth doing.
@ Lynn – Work has to be registered by the end of this month to qualify for a payment next April. If the deadline is missed, the work can still be input, but the money won't come through until the following year. I believe they'll go back three years. If you have anything older than that, I'd send them an email to see if you can still claim.
@ Carol – Indeed it is. There's a bit of paperwork involved, but it's a one off and once that's completed, adding work is done online and we only need to input the title, name of magazine, ISSN, word count and year published. That doesn't take long.
Just wondering whether there are any overseas writers reading this who've successfully signed up for ALCS. It seems like you can, or you can go through a similar organisation in your own country. I don't have anything to register yet, but I will next year, so would be glad of any advice from other overseas (particularly Australian) writers who might be reading this.
Liz, I know of two overseas writers who receive ALCS payments for their UK published stories, one in S Africa and one in Australia, but if you are in any doubt, email them and enquire. ALCs online services are closed at the moment but there is an explanation under Who Can Join, which says overseas writers can do so, but might be better joining their own organisation in their own country. They have a reciprocal agreement with other collecting societies around the world, apparently, so that might be something worth looking into.
Until today I hadn't realised there were any similar organisations overseas, so I'm going to email ALCS and find out whether they are able to collect monies on stories published in SA and Australia.
@Chris - thanks! I shall get onto it.
Thanks for the reminder, Patsy. I do try to register when something is published, but it is easy for things to slip our minds, especially at this busy time of year.
@Chris - I'll be interested to hear if ALCS will accept stories that have been published in SA or Australia, so please do let us all know. I think I assumed they didn't. Assumptions are never a good thing, are they!
Carrie, no, assumptions cost us money!! I emailed ALCS yesterday to ask about this reciprocal arrangement they have with other collecting agencies overseas. No word yet, but I'll definitely let you know. Like you, I'm interested in seeing if there are any ways of getting extra payments on stories published in SA and Oz, and also in Ireland. Not sure if children's stories are eligible for these extra payments but if so, that would be great.
Do any of our S. African or Australian writers know of these other agencies? Can you tell us their names and whether overseas writers can join?
@Chris - I *think* the Copyright Agency is the equivalent in Australia, but am not completely sure. Website: https://www.copyright.com.au/
Hi All. I've probably got this wrong, but whenever I've tried to register anything sold abroad with ALCS, I get an email, I think, saying I can only register material published in this country (UK). Good wishes Kate Hogan
I don't know about how to apply for any ALCS equivalent either for those living outside the UK, or more magazines published anywhere else, so will be very interested in what any of you find out. A guest post on the subject would be very welcome, if anyone would care to write one.
Thanks, Liz, I will check that out. Appreciate the response.
That's right, Kate. When I first joined ALCS I was told that they only paid out on UK published stories and I'm not suggesting that anything's changed in that regard. I'm only intrigued by what it says on their website about overseas writers. Under 'Who Can Join' it has this info...
'We have reciprocal agreements with over 55 collecting societies around the world, and we can transfer your money to them if we’ve collected payments for you. To find out more about your local collecting society, please contact us.'
It's that 'reciprocal agreements' bit I'm interested in. Is it a one-way street, or can UK writers get the benefit of having payments from overseas collecting agencies paid into their ALCS accounts? Maybe I'm being naive but, if not, why not!
Patsy, I'll continue digging and let you know what I find out.
Hi Chris, thanks for that. I hadn't seen it. Anything that might earn us struggling writers a bit more dosh is certainly worth looking in to! Good wishes Kate
Thanks for all the info on ALCS but as mags don't have an ISSN it won't accept my registration form. Any thoughts welcome. Maureen
@ Maureen – which mags do you need ISSNs for?
Maureen, all the major mags, like Woman's Weekly, My Weekly, People's Friend, etc, have ISSN numbers, as Patsy mentions above. The ALCS website seems to have reopened now and I have just taken the following numbers from my account.
For Woman's Weekly the ISSN is 00437417
For Woman's Weekly Fiction Specials it's 23997508
For My Weekly, it's 0262026X
For My Weekly Fiction Specials it's 14790475
And for The Weekly News it's 02623714
ISSNs are usually displayed somewhere in the magazine, although it's often hard to find them. If you can't and you have work in a particular mag, you could email the fiction editor and ask them for that magazine's ISSN.
As far as I know, ALCS allow stories published up to three years ago to be listed, and the registration fee is taken from the first payment you receive, so nothing to pay up front. Good luck!
Thanks, Chris. That's really helpful.
Just a quick follow up to the ALCS overseas payments situation that I've been trying to get info on for the past couple of weeks. I've now spoken to two very helpful people at ALCS and at the CLA here in London and, sadly, while there are reciprocal arrangements in place for UK authors whose books are published (or loaned out) overseas, no such payments are available to UK short story writers whose work appears in overseas magazines. I could say all sorts of rude words about this but it's not going to get me anywhere. I'm not sure why it should only work one way, given that writers in Australia and S Africa are eligible for extra money for their short stories published here, but for the moment that seems to be the case; the reciprocal arrangement is quite a limited one. Sorry if I raised false hopes, but it was worth a try.
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