Sunday, October 12, 2014

Artists target rogue dealers who refuse to pay resale royalties | Art and design | The Observer

Artists target rogue dealers who refuse to pay resale royalties | Art and design | The Observer



 The Artist’s Resale Right entitles artists to up to 4% of the proceeds
when their work is resold for at least €1,000 by an auctioneer or
dealer. In 2012 it was extended to works of deceased artists still in
copyright, 70 years after their death. Royalties are capped at €12,500,
modest for works that are sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds.


Hambling, who will be exhibiting her new paintings at the National
Gallery next month, said: “If a piece of my work sold in the 1970s for
£500, and it now changes hands at £2,000, of course I feel that I should
see a bit of that.”

Well of course she may feel like that.  But does it make it right, her feeling like that?



Once a person has sold something, whether it be art or other merchandise, sold it without reservation or stipulation, how can they be entitled to a portion of the proceeds of any future sale?

Let's take another situation. I build a home.  I pay for the plans, the construction materials and costs, and the interior design. It is my home. I sell that home to someone else, and might make a profit on that sale. That is my reward. Now just imagine the furor if I was to claim a right to a portion of the sale proceeds for every future sale of that home, for my entire life and 70 years beyond.



And, as someone in the comments mentioned: what of the power of inflation and comparative purchasing powers. If I bought it 30 years ago for x dollars, and sell it on today for x*4 dollars, is it really that much more in relative terms? And what of my costs of maintaining that bit of art for those 30 years? Keeping it insured, housed safely.



No. Once a thing is sold, it is sold.

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