Thursday, 19 March 2009

Artist Resale Right

The Artist's Resale Right was implemented in the UK in 2006 as the result of the EU Droit de Suite Directive which aims to harmonise intellectual property legislation across Europe offering visual artists the same protection as writers and composers. It entitles all living artists in the visual and plastic arts to receive a royalty each time a piece of art work is resold by a gallery, dealer, auction house or agent for more than €1000 (approx £850).

The legislation defines an artwork as "any work of graphic or plastic art such as a picture, a collage, a painting, a drawing, an engraving, a print, a lithograph, a sculpture, a tapestry, a ceramic, an item of glassware or a photograph." It also says that "a copy of a work is not to be regarded as a work unless the copy is one of a limited number which have been made by the author or under his authority."

The resale right covers all works of art protected by copyright which is automatically granted once a piece of work is made in material form and lasts for the lifetime of the artist, plus 70 years after his/her death. However, the British Government has decided to further delay the full implementation of the Artist’s Resale Right which would enable deceased artists to bequeath their royalties to their families and loved ones until the copyright expired - a right long enjoyed by writers and composers.

An online petition has been set up calling on the Prime Minister to review this decision. Please find the link to this below. I hope you will support this, and encourage your friends to do the same.

The royalty is subject to compulsory collective management so artists must register with a collecting society to claim their royalty.

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