NEWS: UK art trade campaign to stop royalties for artists

A Statement from DACS highlights the UK art trade campaign to stop royalties for artists - Artists are being asked to make their views known to Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt via Twitter: @Jeremy_Hunt with hashtag #resaleright

A campaign against the Artist’s Resale Right is threatening an important source of income for emerging artists.

The Artist’s Resale Right entitles UK artists and their families to royalties for artworks re-selling above €1000. However, a campaign led by art dealers is calling for this threshold to be raised to €3000.

The Government’s decision in 2005 to opt for a lower threshold of €1000 meant that more emerging artists could enjoy resale royalties, as well as photographers and illustrators, whose works often sell at lower prices than fine art.

41% of artists who have received resale royalties since the Right came in in 2006 did so because of the lower threshold. Raising the threshold could deprive them, and other artists, of future royalties.

‘For the sake of royalty payments of around £32, raising this threshold will disenfranchise younger and emerging artists as their works resell in the UK art market,’ says Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive of DACS, the Design and Artists Copyright Society.

‘Resale royalties are a valuable investment in the life blood of the UK’s art market at a time when public funding cuts are significantly reducing artists’ incomes.’ says artist, Stuart Semple.

‘I’m amazed some parts of the art market are still fighting a rear-guard action against the Artist’s Resale Right. Without artists there would be no art market,’ says Chris Bryant MP, a long-standing supporter of the resale right.

Since the Right was introduced in 2006, DACS has paid artists more than £15 million in resale royalties.

While the resale royalties are modest, they are meaningful to artists as research shows that in 2010 the median wage for a fine artist was only £10,000.

Artists are being asked to make their views known to Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt via Twitter: @Jeremy_Hunt with hashtag #resaleright

 About DACS

 Established by artists for artists, DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society)  is an innovative visual artists’ rights management organisation, representing over 80,000 creative individuals including fine artists, photographers and illustrators from the UK and abroad.

About the Artist’s Resale Right

The Artist’s Resale Right was introduced in February 2006, due to a European Directive, and entitles artists and their beneficiaries to a royalty each time their work changes hands through an auction house or gallery. The Right successfully balances the interests of artists with the interests of the art trade and recognises the on-going stake an artist has in the economic value of their work.

In 2005 the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee recommended that the UK Government introduce a minimum threshold of €1000, rather than the maximum €3000 set out in the European Directive.

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About Nicola Anthony

London and Singapore based artist, art writer, sculptor, lecturer. I create sculpture & drawing, write for art journals and magazines, create events & connect people. http://www.NicolaAnthony.co.uk I also co-ordinate the Edible Art Movement. http://www.edibleartmovement.com

One comment

  1. I think there should be no resale right at all. It’s a red herring. A music right sold on, may be enjoyed by anyone paying the fee… whereas an art right sold on just facilitates a change of single ownership, mostly with no contract to ensure that more may enjoy the work.

    This current move by art-world simply reflects further commercial deceit which the creative industries actually spawn. Potential financial loss is no more damaging to emerging or young artists, than it is to any other demographic group.

    Rather than looking to skirmish with art-world in their own back yard, I would suggest that artists get a grip on reality and start producing work that comments on the greater issue; how to reconcile their social conscience with the powerful institutionalised underbelly that keeps the usual suspects sweet.

    Now that’s the fight I’m interested in.

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