Benefits of Membership
As a rights licensing organization, we act on behalf of our members to streamline the process for reviewing and approving or rejecting requests for reproduction.
ARS furnishes members with as much information as possible to facilitate a decision on any given request, including the nature of the publication or product (book, greeting card, poster etc.), the number of copies to be printed or manufactured, the territories of distribution, as well as the proposed rights fees.
In each instance the artist may decide to grant or withhold permission to reproduce, and/or suggest specific terms or conditions of use. For example, in matters pertaining to book covers, posters, and greeting cards, members may require the client to submit color proofs and/or mock-ups for final review and approval prior to publication. If the proof fails to meet the required criteria, members may demand another proof or withhold permission entirely.
We are not a one-size-fits-all organization. Rather, we devote ourselves to fulfilling the individual needs of each of our members. In essence, we combine the functions of licensing with that of watchdog. Revenues received by ARS from reproduction and license fees are remitted to our members on a semi-annual basis.
ARS works to ensure respect for and to safeguard the rights of artists in the United States and abroad. Membership in ARS places the artist under the protective umbrella of ARS in the U.S. and its sister foreign rights societies abroad.
An immediate benefit of membership in ARS is that any reproduction or other use of an artist's work abroad is monitored by our sister rights societies in numerous foreign countries. Publishers, manufacturers, and museums are informed that the artist or artist’s estate is protected worldwide, and that they must clear reproduction rights in advance of any publication and pay the requisite rights fees wherever applicable.
Among the foreign rights societies protecting ARS member rights abroad are:
Australia, COPYRIGHT AGENCY / VISCOPY
Germany, VG BILD-KUNST
Great Britain, DACS
The Netherlands, PICTORIGHT
ARS and its sister societies are members of the international confederation of copyright societies, Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Auteurs et Compositeurs. Known by its acronym, CISAC, this organization has led the way in setting worldwide standards for the protection of intellectual property rights through the combined efforts of its member societies.
Lobbying and Legislation
At the domestic level, ARS actively lobbies state and federal legislatures for stronger and more effective artists’ rights laws. Successful lobbying efforts include the extension by twenty years of the current U.S. copyright term, through the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, enacted on October 27, 1998. ARS was also instrumental in obtaining passage of the copyright restoration provisions of the 1994 GATT accords. We continue to lobby for the institution of the resale royalty in the United States, also known as the Droit de Suite, a right which is available in a number of European states.
With respect to our licensing activities, ARS offers a range of services to our members designed to aid them in the granting or withholding of permission to reproduce their works. ARS legal experts, specializing in copyright and permissions matters, are available to respond to members’ inquiries regarding their rights. Members may call at any time.
Guarding against Piracy
We also help protect our members’ rights and guard against piracy, illicit use, or copyright infringement, by monitoring the use of their works. Remedies for illicit use include collection of fees, imposition of penalties, and interdiction of goods.