Could you be owed some money?

Could you be owed some money?

28 Jan 2011

If you have written material for a journal like this one, or a book, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) may be holding mon­ies due to you. 

None of us can afford to be com­placent about money, especially during a recession. In addition to your day job, if you have had an arti­cle published in a printed academic, or trade journal or written or contrib­uted to a book, then the ALCS could be holding money owed to you.

“Why would the Society be holding money you’re owed?" 

If books, magazines and journals containing your work are available to be photocopied or scanned in schools, universities, businesses or public sector bodies then you may be entitled to a share of the income collected.

These organisations buy a licence enabling them to do limited amounts of photocopying. ALCS ensures that from this licence fee writers are paid their dues.

“But I’m not a writer”

For the majority of the Society’s 78,000 members, writing is not their main job. Many of its members are doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, academics, etc. They might have written for a journal or have contrib­uted to a book. These people might not consider themselves as writers, but have written to share learning and best practice, or even just to supplement their income.

Academic writers, fiction, non-fiction, translators, adaptors, script­writers, magazine and journal arti­cle writers, editors and children’s writers are all eligible to be ALCS members.

“What do I need to do if I want to join and claim my money?

To join the ALCS’s 78,000 other members, lifetime membership costs £25. This is deducted from your first royalty payment so that no-one is out of pocket and you don’t pay anything up front. You won’t pay anything at all if the Society doesn’t collect any money for you.

In order to claim your secondary royalties, you will need to register your published works or special­ist academic journal and magazine articles.

You can apply to join online at or alternatively contact the Membership Services Department on 020 7264 5700 or email

Who is the ALCS?

ALCS is a not-for-profit membership organisation. It represents the inter­ests of all writers and safeguards their intellectual property rights.

It collects secondary royalties on behalf of over 78,000 writers across the UK and abroad, and pays them directly to its members, twice a year. For more information, visit the web­site or call the Membership Services Department. Alternatively, you can write to the Society at: ALCS, The Writers’ House, 13 Haydon Street, London EC3N 1DB.

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