Monday 22 July 2013

Droit de suite in the US: can you help?

1709 Blog readers will be aware that artist resale right - also known as droit de suite (right to follow) - laws vary (sometimes quite considerably) from country to country.

At the moment there are rumours (here and here) that, following the EU and Australia, also the US is considering adopting a law that would allow resale rights at a federal level.

As far as this blogger is aware, the only US state that has ever had a law on resale royalty is California. However, last year the US District Court for the Central District of California struck down the California Resale Royalty Act, holding that it violated US Constitution's Interstate Commerce Clause. An appeal is currently pending before the Ninth Circuit, which is expected to issue its decision later this year.

The proposed US law is based on the implementation of resale rights at a rate of 7%, only applicable to resales conducted in auction houses whose annual turnovers is over $25m, on the condition that the price of these sales corresponds to the original sale price, allowing for an inflation of $10,000. Half of these sums would go towards artists and their beneficiaries, and the rest would go towards non-lucrative organisations, in order to increase their budgets for contemporary art.
The 1709 Blog has received a request from its Australian friends to learn more about what is going on in the US. Can any readers provide further details of this proposed piece of legislation, in particular what kind of resale right the US is considering introducing?


john walker said...

Eleonora thanks.

What little we have heard seems suggest that America is contemplating a sort of super profits tax on Art. A scheme that did not levey on losses and small transactions would be much better than the ARR systems the UK and Australia have.
However the US proposal- under which more than half of the total royalties collected would be redistributed, is for a hybrid composed of individual economic right and a hypothecated tax. This would be constitutionally impossible down here; Laws that combine tax and non tax matters are in the words of section 55 of the OZ constitution "of no effect"

Unknown said...

Here is a paper (link below) that I wrote earlier this year which compares the E.U. D.D.S. system with the proposed U.S. Bill. The paper is broken down into various headings which should make it easier for readers to dip in and out of. All feedback/criticism is most welcome.

Eleonora Rosati said...

Thanks so much for sharing your paper with our readers Anthony!

john walker said...


john walker said...

Anthony this is Our submission to the review of the australian ARR scheme.

And this sub is from
professor Jon Altman :
It is a must read .