Call-to-arms for support of the Artist’s Resale Right’s full implementation

Thu 28 Jul 2011 by Angela_McKay

DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society) are asking people to sign a petition welcoming the final implementation and calling on the UK Government and European Commission to recognise the importance of the Right in supporting artists, their families and beneficiaries.

The Right currently allows visual artists an ongoing stake in the value of their work by paying artists a modest royalty when their works are resold through auction houses, galleries, and art dealers.

The full implementation of the Right will extend this royalty to deceased artists’ families and beneficiaries, providing desperately needed funding for managing an artist’s estate, including the costs of storage, conservation, cataloguing, research, restoration, assessment of provenance, and the identification of fakes.

Since the first stage of implementation in February 2006, DACS has paid more than 2000 artists over £12 million in resale royalties.

Despite fears that the Artist’s Resale Right would divert sales from the UK to countries which do not have an equivalent right, there has been no evidence to support this.  The Right has several mechanisms in place to protect the interests of the art trade including tiered royalty rates ranging from 4% down to 0.25% which are dictated by law, and most significantly, a cap on the royalty an artist can receive on a single sale of €12,500 (approximately £11,000).

Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive of DACS says:

“There are far greater costs associated with selling works of art that dwarf the impact of the resale right. When Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man I sold for £58 million in the UK in February 2010, it earned £7 million in buyer’s premium for the auction house. Compare this to the £2.4 million in resale royalties which were generated by the entire UK art market during the whole of 2010.“

About DACS

1. Established by artists for artists, DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society)  is an innovative visual artists’ rights management organisation, representing over 60,000 creative individuals including fine artists, photographers and illustrators from the UK and abroad.

2. Over the past five years, as a not-for-profit organisation, DACS has distributed £34.5 million in royalties to visual artists for copyright licensing, Artist’s Resale Right and collective licensing. This represents a direct financial investment into creativity and innovation. DACS’ total distributions to artists represent almost twice as much as the investment made by Arts Council England to individuals for visual arts related activities over a similar period.

About the Artist’s Resale Right

3. The Artist’s Resale Right was introduced in February 2006 and entitles artists 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.

4. For further information, contact Tania Spriggens, Director of Communications, [email protected].


Heloise Wood
Public Affairs Campaign Advisor
[email protected]

33 Great Sutton Street, London, EC1V 0DX
T: Switchboard +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
T: Direct Dial +44 (0) 20 7553 9081
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