Paris court challenges Resale Right practice
March 30 2017
Picture: via Wikipedia
In Paris, a court has ruled that the way in which 'Droit de Suite' is operated must change. The law, known in the UK as the Artist's Resale Right (ARR), gives artists and their estate a small commission each time a work is resold. The French introduced the law in the late 19thCentury, partly in response to the sudden rise in value of Jean-Francois Millet's work (above) after his death. An artist's family or estate can earn this royalty for 70 years. Until now, the fee has always been charged onto the buyer by dealers and auction houses. But the court has ruled that it should be paid instead by the vendor.
This opens up the prospect of many thousands of sales being re-worked, or the buyers being refunded. For if you bought a picture and paid the fee, but now wish to sell it, you will be obliged as a vendor to pay it again.
Whether this change will spread to other countries, I don't know. In the UK the dealing and auction community is hopeful that the ARR will no longer be used after Brexit. It was introduced here after an EU directive in 2001.