Art Law Report

Resale Royalty Legislation Revived

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Picking up a torch last carried by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, lobbying efforts are underway to enact into U.S. federal law a droit de suite right enjoyed in the U.K. and elsewhere, that is, a right for an artist to be compensated upon subsequent sales of his or her work. American law has long resisted the concept of secondary market compensation for artists, and Kennedy’s efforts to write droite de suite into American law failed in the course of the enactment of the Visual Artists Rights Act in 1987. European nations have struggled to quantify the effect of inconsistent droite de suite legislation; some argue that the piecemeal regime has simply pushed sales into countries without it, others note that U.K. art sales have continued to rise.

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Topics: Legislation, Resale Royalties, Visual Artists Rights Act, Trademark, droit de suite, Lobbying, Edward Kennedy, resale, Copyright, intellectual property

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About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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