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What is the Authors Coalition of America (ACA) and why are you sending me a check?

What is a Reproduction Rights Organization, or RRO?

Did the Authors Coalition authorize use of my work?

If Authors Coalition did not authorize use of my work, and I did not authorize use of my work, was my work illegally copied?

Do you know which of my works was copied in other countries?

Does cashing a royalty check obligate me in any way to the Authors Coalition?

What does Authors Coalition charge for this service?

How will an author be contacted by the ACA?

What paperwork is an author required to complete?

Do you keep my contact information confidential?

ACA did not contact me by a postal mailing or an e-mail and yet my name is on your list of authors owed reprographic royalties. Why wasn't I contacted?

Once I return the required forms, when will I receive a check?

Does that mean I will receive at least two checks every year?

I often (or always) work in collaboration with other authors. Do I owe them a portion of my payment?

How do I change my address or contact information with you?

Another Question?
Contact Dorien Kelly at dkelly@authorscoalition.org

or call (231) 869-2011 between 9 AM and 5 PM, PT, Monday – Thursday



What is the Authors Coalition of America (ACA) and why are you sending me a check?

The Authors Coalition of America is a coalition of 22 U.S. author organizations that came together in 1994 to receive and distribute foreign reprographic (or photocopying) royalties. These royalties were non-title specific (authors unknown) and distributed by collective method to our Member Organizations to be used for the benefit of authors. In 2007, the Authors Coalition began receiving title-specific reprographic royalties for visual material authors. Under agreements with Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs), the Authors Coalition is able to distribute these royalties to individual visual materials authors for photocopy use of graphic arts, illustrations and photographs outside the United States.

The check you received is for the portion of the RRO's distribution to Authors Coalition that is designated for you by the foreign collecting country.

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What is a Reproduction Rights Organization, or RRO?

An RRO is a collecting society formed to respond to the need to license wide-scale photocopy access to the world's scientific and cultural printed works. Copyright Clearance Center is the RRO for the United States; you can visit their web site at www.copyright.com. For more information on RROs, see the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO): www.ifrro.org

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Did the Authors Coalition authorize use of my work?

No. The Authors Coalition does not represent authors, does not license copyrighted works and did not authorize use of your work. We function strictly as a payment agent for RROs and other foreign collecting societies wishing to distribute reprographic royalty payments to authors.

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If Authors Coalition did not authorize use of my work, and I did not authorize use of my work, was my work illegally copied?

Not necessarily. With few exceptions, a foreign RRO from which payment is being made collects license fees for photocopying under special legislation in its country that permits the use of U.S. works without authorization from the U.S. rightsholder. The laws of these countries include "statutory licenses" that give users the right to photocopy material on the condition that they report that usage and pay royalties to an RRO. Although the RRO in a particular country may not have received authorization from you or your agent to license your work, it will have collected photocopy license fees with full legal authority in its own country. Fees are collected for photocopying in schools, universities, businesses, research centers and elsewhere.

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Do you know which of my works was copied in other countries?

Usually, but not always. Some foreign RROs provide more detail than others. ACA forwards with your first contact letter from us whatever information is provided by the collecting RRO on the foreign use of U.S. works. This information will also accompany subsequent royalty checks, should there be any.

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Does cashing a royalty check obligate me in any way to the Authors Coalition?

No, cashing the check in no way obligates you to ACA.

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What does Authors Coalition charge for this service?

ACA covers operating costs by retaining a 10% service charge. Our operating costs involve locating the author-payees, creating an account for each one, sending out checks and keeping records necessary for required reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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How will an author be contacted by the ACA?

We send out both postal mailings and e-mailings to authors for whom we've received payment. We give a brief account of where the payment comes from, what work or works it's for (when possible), and how much it amounts to. We also include the paperwork necessary for us to set up an account for the author.

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What paperwork is an author required to complete?

The necessary paperwork includes the Collection Claim form, in which the author affirms their identity and provides ACA with their contact and payment information, and an IRS Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification which is the IRS request for the payee's Social Security number. We are required to report any payment we make in excess of $10, and must use the payee's Social Security number for this reporting.

Completed forms can be e-mailed to dkelly@authorscoalition.org, or mailed to:

Authors Coalition of America
P.O. Box 929
Pentwater, MI 49449

ACA does not withhold federal tax. You will receive a recipient copy of the 1099-MISC filed with the IRS at year-end.

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Do you keep my contact information confidential?

Unless you have authorized us via the Collection Claim form to share your specified contact information with interested parties for professional purposes, ACA does not share contact information.

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ACA did not contact me by a postal mailing or an e-mail and yet my name is on your list of authors owed reprographic royalties. Why wasn’t I contacted?

There are a number of reasons an author on our payment list has not been contacted. One is that we tried to find you but we were not successful. Or we did find an email or postal address for you but did not receive a response to our mailing. Finally, we may have recently, in the last week or month, received royalties for you for the first time. We can receive reprographic royalties for several hundred new authors that are not in our database in a single payment from an RRO. It can take months to complete the location process for that many authors and so we immediately post the names of new authors in the hopes you find us before we have the chance to find you.

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Once I return the required forms, when will I receive a check?

ACA disburses quarterly in March, June, September and December. In order to be paid, you must have a properly completed Collection Claim Form and W-9 on file with us on or before the 5th of the calendar month.

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Does that mean I will receive at least four checks every year?

No. While many authors who receive one payment from ACA do receive further payments in the future, we are unable to predict with certainty when, or whether, a given author will receive another payment. If a payment is received for you in the future, a check will automatically be sent to you. Please inform ACA if you move or change your payment location; see the link to the Change of Address Form.

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I often (or always) work in collaboration with other authors. Do I owe them a portion of my payment?

No. When ACA receives documents that identify authors of photocopied works, the RRO reports the names of all authors. Occasionally as many as ten authors are identified as the creators of a single work. The amount we report is due you. The amount on your payment check has been equally divided among the authors identified by the distributing RRO. If your work was a collaboration and we haven’t been able to locate your co-authors, we may ask you for as much contact information for them as you feel comfortable providing.

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How do I change my address or contact information with you?

You can access our Change of Address Form here.

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