Droit de Suite in the U.S.?

I have posted several times on artist rights bills over the past couple of months, including issues in France, the UK and California.  The Art Newspaper has a very good although short article on the introduction of a bill by Senator Herb Kohl and Congressman Jerrold Nadler for royalty payments to visual artists.

The bill called the Equity for visual Artists Act of 2011would take 7% of the selling price of reosled works of more than $10,000 at major auction houses (those selling more than $25 million in the previous year).  The proceeds would be split with half going to the artist and the other to non profit art museums.

If this bill is to pass it is a slippery slope and only time before it will impact more auction houses and galleries. It could also increase more private sales with less transparency.

I will be tracking the legislation, and post when more is known.  I will also try to find out how much support there is for the bill on the hill.  Click HERE to read a copy of HR Bill.

The Art Newspaper reports
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.
Source: The Art Newspaper

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