Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about ALCS.
There are four sections in our FAQs.
- Questions for non-members: if you’re thinking of joining ALCS
- General questions: about your membership of ALCS
- Financial questions: about your payments from ALCS
- Works questions: about registering your work
Scroll down for the relevant section.
QUESTIONS FOR NON-MEMBERS
Am I eligible to join?
All writers and beneficiaries to the estates of writers are eligible to join. See more about who can join on our dedicated page.
Doesn’t my publisher deal with my royalties?
Your publisher will deal with your ‘Primary rights’ – ALCS only pays ‘Secondary rights’. For more information, see our dedicated section on secondary rights.
What is ‘secondary use’ or ‘secondary rights’?
Are you the same as Public Lending Right (PLR)?
No, PLR collects and distributes money allocated to authors from the lending of their books from libraries in the UK. ALCS collects some money from the lending of UK authored books in European countries, however our main source of income is from the photocopying of books in the UK. See more on where ALCS money comes from, or see more about PLR.
Why have you collected without my permission?
The power to extend our collection operation to non-Members in this way is preserved within the ALCS Memorandum & Articles of Association. See how ALCS is run for more information.
How do you know what is copied?
We receive money from a number of different sources, and the information varies on those sources. See more on where ALCS money comes from.
Which writers’ unions are included in the free membership offer?
All the UK writers’ unions are eligible for free membership. For a list of unions see the sign-up page.
Do I need to be paid via my agent?
This is entirely up to you and is dependent on the agreement that you have with your agent. We’ll follow your instructions as to how you would like to receive your payments. Once you sign up, you can indicate your payment preferences in your account.
I don’t live in the UK, can I still join ALCS?
Yes, although depending on where you live it might be more appropriate for you to join your local collecting society. ALCS holds reciprocal agreements with over 55 collecting societies around the world to whom we can transfer your money if we have collected payments for you. If you would like information about your local collecting society please contact us.
How is ALCS funded?
ALCS is funded by a commission fee that is deducted from each payment that we make to our Members.
- Read about the commission fee on our dedicated page.
- ALCS is a collecting society and is governed by a Code of Conduct. Read more about how ALCS is run.
GENERAL MEMBER QUESTIONS
I haven’t received my forgotten password link
Firstly, please check your junk and spam folders. Occasionally emails may end up being caught up in places they shouldn’t.
If it’s not there then contact us and we’ll check that we’re sending emails to the correct address. You’ll need to answer a few security questions about your account before we will update your account.
I signed up with a different email address and need to change it
To change your email address with us, login and edit it in the personal details tab of your account. If you’ve forgotten your password and no longer have access to your old email address, get in touch with the membership department. Please don’t register again with a different email address, this will lead to duplication of your account and may affect your royalties payments.
I want to update my password
You can do this two ways. You can either login to your account and edit it in your personal details, or you can request a new password via the login page.
I recently moved home
Please login to your account and update your address in your personal details page.
My name has changed
You can change your name inside your account. Please log in and update it in your personal details.
I’m not sure if I am an ALCS member
If you have ever been paid by us then you are an ALCS member. If you aren’t sure, please get in touch with our membership team who will be able to help you.
I have Power of Attorney for an ALCS member
We have a process for this, please get in touch with our membership team who will be able to help you.
I want to report the death of an ALCS member
If an ALCS member has died then we need to put their account on hold. Please contact our membership department to let them know. If you are the beneficiary of an ALCS member then you are eligible to become a successor member. Please see our page on estates for more information.
I have changed bank accounts and need to notify you of my new payment details
Changes of details can be made by logging-in to your account.
You can also send your new details to the membership team which should include the name and address of your bank, the bank sort code and your account number. Please include any extra references as used by some building societies. See our contact page for the membership department details.
I now live abroad, how can I get my royalties paid into my overseas bank account?
I have a VAT query
How do Tax and deductions work?
I haven’t been paid in the most recent distribution.
There could be a couple of reasons for this:
- Are your bank account details correct and up to date? Log-in to your account to check them out.
- It could just be that you weren’t due a payment (you will have a statement ready to download in the members area if you were).
If you do have a statement and weren’t paid, please get in touch with the membership team.
If you don’t have a statement, you weren’t due a payment this time. Payments are in March and September, so make sure all your works are up to date and check back in the next distribution.
I’ve been paid a lot less than usual.
My book doesn’t appear to be earning any royalties – why?
Some books may take a while to earn secondary royalties. See why.
How far back should I go when claiming for books, journals and articles?
For books, you go as far back as you can account for.
However for journals and articles the claims period is for the last three years (not including the current year we are in). See the articles page for full details of the current claim period.
Why does some of my work on my account say pending, and some others say ‘edit’?
We have to do some additional checks on some titles to make sure we’ve got everything correct, and we’ll complete those checks just as soon as we can. This has no impact on your payments from ALCS. Work that you can ‘edit’ has been accepted, but can be edited if a member spots a mistake in the information that has been entered.
My journals haven’t been accepted and I entered them ages ago.
If the work entered is in the valid claim period, then it will be accepted as soon as we can possibly process it – we get thousands of updates close to deadline, but we will process yours just as soon as we can.
However sometimes members enter work that was published in the current year. Those articles will be accepted when the new claims period changes as we don’t pay for articles in the year they are published. For more detailed information on how it works, see the journals FAQs at the bottom of this page.
ALCS pays for journals and magazine articles – are newspapers included?
ALCS does not currently pay for newspaper articles.
Why does ALCS hold money for journal/magazine writers and where does it come from?
See our section on where the money comes from.
I made a mistake when entering my work in my account – what should I do?
If you’ve made an error in your works list that you can’t edit, please contact the distributions team who will be able to help you. If you have a lot of work please do take care to make sure your details are correct.