How to request a licence from Copyright Visual Arts – CARCC ?

Requesting a licence from Copyright Visual Arts is very easy.

An individual or an institution who wishes to use an art work, or several works, created by a member of Copyright Visual Arts should fill the required Request for Licence form provided on this site and email it to Copyright Visual Arts at

A member who receives a request for a use of a work, or works, by a User (museum, publisher, artist run centre, etc), be it for an exhibition, a reproduction or telecommunication, should inform the potential user that he or she is a member of Copyright Visual Arts and that Copyright Visual Arts will issue a licence for the use.

To assist in gathering the information necessary for issuing a licence, Copyright Visual Arts provides the member with the Request for Licence form which either the artist or the user of the artist's work may fill out.

Although it is much preferable to use the form because it is a reminder of all the necessary questions to ask, the necessary information can also be submitted to Copyright Visual Arts by email by the artist or by the user. The email and the form should be sent to

Copyright Visual Arts uses the CARFAC-RAAV minimum Copyright and Professional Fees Schedule and its Calculator as a reference only for the different categories of users and types of uses. Artists and Users should be aware that Copyright Visual Arts systematically ask higher royalties than the minimums shown.

Artist’s instructions to Copyright Visual Arts – CARCC

In general, Copyright Visual Arts will request, in the interest of the artist it represents, the highest royalties it can collect.

This said, an artist may want to give specific instructions to Copyright Visual Arts regarding the royalties and conditions of a specific licence, because it is issued to an institution or a person he or she wishes to support personally. The artist should then inform Copyright Visual Arts of their intention. In all cases, Copyright Visual Arts will minimally charge its administration fee to the user because it takes as much time dealing with a free licence as with a paying one.

Consultation with the Artist

Although, in general, Copyright Visual Arts will discuss with an artist specific requests for licences, some licences may be directly discussed and concluded with the Users. The idea behind copyright management by a third party, such as Copyright Visual Arts, is in good part to reduce the amount of work an artist has to do. For this reason, some licences such as those for an exhibition in a well recognized institution or a reproduction in an art magazine might not require the direct involvement of the artist in the negotiation.

Moral Rights

Of course, in cases where an artist’s moral rights are in question, Copyright Visual Arts will always request a written permission from the artist before issuing a licence. For example, if a book or magazine publisher wishes to crop or modify the appearance of a work in order to adapt it to the cover’s graphic design; or if a user wishes to associate the work with a product, a service, an institution or a social or political cause, Copyright Visual Arts - CARCC will make sure to ask the artist for a written authorisation by email.

On demand, a copy of the licences that are issued can be sent the artist by email.

Payment to the Artists

Once payment is received from the user, Copyright Visual Arts pays the artist within a few days and the HST is remitted to Revenue Canada.

In February of each year, a T-5 slip is sent to artists who have received royalties during the previous fiscal year, in time for the artists to prepare their income tax report.

Acknowledgment of licensing by Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC

Copyright Visual Arts licensing must be publicly acknowledged in the accreditation of the art work in the following manner - title of the work, year of creation © name of artist (licenced by Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC, year of licence). For example: 

Years of silence II, 2006  © James Artist   (Licenced by Copyright Visual    Arts-CARCC, 2016)

The accreditation must appear with the licensed project (on the labels, under the reproduced image, etc.).

Licence for a temporary exhibition

The Exhibition Right applies to all works created after June 8, 1988 that are exhibited publicly and where the works are not presented for sale or hire. This means that exhibition royalties can be negotiated and charged to the institutions wishing to exhibit works of Copyright Visual Arts members.

Note: Copyright Visual Arts considers that an institution may not request to be excluded from the application of the Exhibition Right unless its main mission is to commercially sell or rent art works (private galleries, art merchants, etc.)

Licences for a temporary exhibition are generally for a minimum of three (3) months in duration. Any extension of that period has to be the object of a new licence.

A Copyright Visual Arts member presented with a contract that deals with copyright of any sort be it an exhibition royalty or the right to reproduce a work in a brochure or catalogue and so on should refer the contract to Copyright Visual Arts. 

Exhibition contracts presented to artists by users often cover many points related to the organisation of the exhibition, including points dealing with the copyrights of the artists. The Artist must inform the institution that all points dealing with his or her intellectual property are to be negotiated separately and licenced through Copyright Visual Arts.

Copyright Visual Arts will issue a Temporary Exhibition Licence to the institution for all matters concerning Copyrights. Reproductions of the work(s) for the purpose of promoting the artist and/or the exhibition may be included in the same licence.

The technical aspects related to the organisation of the exhibition, such as transport and insurance, or the professional services provided by an artist must be the object of a separate contract.

Exhibition royalties are payable to Copyright Visual Arts prior to the opening of the exhibition. 

Licence for the exhibition of works from a collection

The Exhibition Right included in the Copyright Act in 1988 also covers works, either donated or purchased, in the permanent collections of public museums, corporations, or other institutions when the works are presented in public exhibitions. 

Copyright Visual Arts offers a licence for works in permanent collections that allows 10 years of exhibition on the licensee’s premises. Royalties are a one-time payment for the duration of the licence. At the end of the licence period, a new licence must be negotiated.

Any exhibition outside of the licensee’s premises (such as a loan to another institution) requires a Temporary Exhibition License and royalty.

Except for archival documentation, any reproductions of work including digital or electronic require a Reproduction Licence and fee.

Where a portfolio or series of prints is involved, one print only may be licensed for exhibition provided that only one print is exhibited at a time at the licensee's location.

Alternatively, should an owner of a work subject to the exhibition fee not wish to take a Permanent Collection Exhibition Licence, a Temporary Exhibition Licence may be negotiated each time the work is exhibited whether on or off the owner’s premises.

Assignment of copyrights when selling a work

Some institutions, at the time of purchasing, may ask an artist to assign (give away) the copyrights on their work. While it may be convenient for the institution, this practice is unethical and unfair because it has negative consequences for the artist.

Copyright Visual Arts strongly recommends that artists NOT assign any of their copyrights to institutions or individuals who purchase a work.

The reason being that copyright is an important source of income during the whole life of an artist and 50 years after his or her death. It has a financial value that may represent many times the price paid for the physical property of the work.

Rather, an artist member should inform the collecting institution or individual that Copyright Visual Arts represents them for all matters concerning their copyrights.  Any permission for any use of copyright should be obtained from Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC.

Also, in Quebec, artists can get a tax reduction for their copyright income. It is therefore particularly important to include in the purchase contract a portion of the payment for certain copyright uses during a given period. When the work is donated the purchaser should at least pay the artist a royalty for the foreseeable uses. In this way an artist can deduct from their income taxes some or all of the royalties collected at the time of the sale.

It is hoped that this tax measure will soon be implemented across Canada

Reproduction Licensing (print, digital, electronic, film, video, television, etc):

Because of the variables — size, print run, method, venue — it is difficult to establish the appropriate royalties without specific details. For example: an image on a book cover demands a larger royalty than an image inside; the size, purpose, and print-run of a poster determine the royalty; books published by a non-profit publisher are charged less than a commercial venture.

The Licence Request form available on this site allows the user to fully describe the type of reproduction it intends to do and for what purpose it is requested. This information is essential to establish the proper royalties to be paid.

Copyright Visual Arts’ reproduction licenses are issued prior to the production. Royalties are usually due prior to production, although the license can include a schedule of payment if the reproduction occurs in phases or over a longer period of time.

Licences cover the terms of reproduction specifying the exact details: numbers, method, size, purpose, venue, location in the publication (i.e. cover or inside), and royalties.

Digital reproduction licences outline the uses (i.e. website, mobile application, screen saver, etc.), length of time, and requirements for protection (i.e. copyright warnings or digital watermarking).

Reprography Licensing

Reprography (the right pertaining to the secondary uses of already-published works by such means as photocopying in, for example, schools and universities) can only be managed collectively.

These collective licenses are granted throughout Canada, except in Quebec, by ACCESS Copyright. In Quebec, COPIBEC fulfills this function.

Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC, through sub-licensing agreements with ACCESS Copyright and COPIBEC receives a share of their licensing revenue for distribution to its eligible members.

Most of this revenue is drawn from the repertoire pool (shared by creators and publishers) consisting of money that cannot be paid because individual copyright holders cannot be identified with every use.

Visual artists who are members of Copyright Visual Arts and who have provided proof of eligibility share in the creators’ portion of the pool. The amounts vary from year to year. The amount an artist receives is based on a number of factors including the amount collected by Access Copyright, the number of eligible recipients, the number of works the artist has published in publications bearing ISBN or ISSN numbers over a given period and other factors.

Normally, an artist must have been a Copyright Visual Arts member over two calendar years (if you joined in 2014, for example, you would become eligible in 2016).

As well, the Artist must be a resident of any Canadian province or territory with the exception of Quebec. Copyright Visual Arts members living in Quebec are encouraged to register with COPIBEC the reprography licensing agency established in Quebec.

Copyright Visual Arts informs members when submissions concerning this royalty are required. The reprography royalty from ACCESS Copyright is annual and the cheques are generally sent in December.

Copyright Visual Arts will notify its members from time to time of deadline announcements and of special distributions from COPIBEC for artists who live outside Quebec and whose works have been published in Quebec.

Administration fees

There is no charge or membership due to join Copyright Visual Arts.

Nevertheless, Copyright Visual Arts is not a free service. Copyright Visual Arts does not receive grants from any sources and it keeps its administrative fees as low as possible.

Copyright Visual Arts supports itself by the collection of administration fees. The users of works created by Copyright Visual Arts’ members are paying the administration fees.

Copyright Visual Arts deducts an administration fee from payments to its members that are made to it by agreement with other collectives.

International licensing

Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC may make agreements that allow other copyright collectives to licence uses of its members’ works in other countries.  These collectives will take responsibility for licensing uses of works by Copyright Visual Arts members in their respective countries.  They will negotiate and issue licences on the member’s behalf, collect the payments, pay the member, and defend the licences should any infringement occur. 

Occasionally collectives in other countries will distribute royalties for unidentified uses to collectives with which they have agreements, and this money is distributed in turn to Copyright Visual Arts members. 

Copyright Visual Arts members should notify us of any out-of-country licensing needs.

At present Copyright Visual Arts members-CARCC has agreements with the following foreign collecting societies:

  • VAGA  (USA)
  • DACS  (UK)
  • VISCOPY (Australia and New Zealand)
  • SAIF  (France)
  • VG BildKunst  (Germany)
  • SOFAM  (Belgium)
  • BONO  (Norway)
  • BUS  (Sweden)
  • PICTORIGHT (Netherlands)

Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC is always working to make more agreements, in order to expand its international reach. 

Copyright Visual Arts-CARCC It is a member of CISAC-CIAGP, the international association of creators' collecting societies, which sets standards for our activities and keeps us up to date on developments in creators' copyright worldwide