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Introduction to Artist's Resale Right in Europe

What is the Artist Resale Right and how do you get it?


Artists Resale Rights exist in Europe

Artists Resale Rights exist in Europe

Artists Resale Right in Europe started in February 2006. Under a European law called the Artist's Resale Right you may be entitled to some of the money when one of your paintings is resold. So, what's the catch, besides it not always being easy to know when you're paintings are resold?

Well, firstly, Artist's Resale Right doesn't apply to be a painting you're selling for the first time (well, you get money from that anyway!). Secondly, the artwork must be sold for more than 1,000 euros. Thirdly, there must be a gallery, dealer, auction house, or agent involved in the sale. Sales between private individuals and between an individual and a museum don't qualify for Artist's Resale Rights. Oh, and you still need to be alive and the painting still your copyright to get Artist's Resale Right.

What Artist's Resale Rights Means to an Artist
If the sale meets the two criteria above, then a sliding scale of royalties applies, from four to 0,25 per cent. The higher the price of the painting, the smaller the royalty. There is an upper limit for how much you'll get for any painting.

How Do You Get the Money for Artist's Resale Rights?
Don't sit around waiting for the post the day after an art auction, you're not going to get a cheque straight from the gallery. You'll need to register with one of the approved collecting agencies which manage copyright and related rights. For example, the Design and Artists Copyright Society in the UK.

What Artworks Qualify for Artist's Resale Rights?
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."

Got other questions regarding the Artist's Resale Right? Then check out the comprehensive Artist's Resale Right info from the UK Design and Artist's Copyright Society in the UK.

Poll: Should Artists Get a Royalty (Artist's Resale Rights) When Their Paintings Are Resold?
1. Yes, definitely.
2. Yes, but only over a certain price level.
3. Yes, for auction house sales.
4. No, it's being greedy.
5. First far, then close
6. No, it's more red tape and expense for sellers.
7. I'm undecided.
7. Something else
(View the results of this poll so far...)

The countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) all have the identical Artist's Resale Right. If you're a national of any of these countries, you're likely to be entitled to Artist's Resale Right. The countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

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