Monday, January 2, 2012


Droit de suite bill introduced in US Congress
Legislation would see artists and museums split a royalty fee of 7% for auction resales over $10,000

By Helen Stoilas. Web only
Published online: 15 December 2011

Washington, DC. Federal legislation that would see visual artists receive royalty payments when their works are resold in the US was introduced in the House of Representatives today by congressman Jerrold Nadler (Democrat, New York), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, and in the Senate by senator Herb Kohl (Democrat, Wisconsin). The Equity for Visual Artists Act of 2011, would set aside 7% of the price for works resold for more than $10,000 at major auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, with half the proceeds going to the artists and half to non-profit art museums.

“Visual artists deserve a share in the sales and resales of their creative works,” says Nadler in a statement. “It’s important to ensure that artists are fairly compensated — even more so in difficult economic times, when normal channels of support for artists are less dependable. This legislation would help working artists and provide incentives for the creation of art by providing resale royalty rights and establishing a fund for nonprofit art museums to buy art from those artists.”

The legislation, as it stands, would only apply to the resale of works at public auction houses “with more than $25 million in sales in the prior year”. Auction houses that operate only online would be excluded, as would private galleries.

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