Droit de suite

Droit de suite

Droit de Suite - the artist's resale right
Droit de Suite is a royalty payable to a qualifying artist or the artist's heirs each time a work is re-sold during the artist's lifetime and during the 70 years following the artist's death.  Droit de Suite came into effect in the UK on 14 February 2006; it initially only applies to the works of living artists.  In 2012, Droit de Suite will be extended to apply to an artist's works for a period of 70 years after his death.
If a work of art sold on village-on-the-web is liable for Droit de Suite, it will be clearly stated in the item’s description, and the selling price will include the royalty.

When is it paid?

When a work of art is sold at auction or by private treaty sale by a professional seller, to a professional buyer or through a professional agent.

What works of art are caught?        

Works of graphic or plastic art.
The Regulations give the following examples:  a picture, a collage, a painting, a drawing, an engraving, a print, a lithograph, a sculpture, a tapestry, a ceramic, an item of glassware or a photograph. The list is not exhaustive.
The Regulations provide that a copy is not subject to the resale right unless "the copy is one of a limited number which have been made by the author or under his authority".  There is no limit to the number of copies. The phrase "under his authority" is not defined.

Are any transactions exempt?

There are four exemptions:
 1. The first transfer (sale, gift or transfer on death) by the artist.
 2. Sales of works of art for a price equal to or less than €10,000 within three years of their acquisition directly from the artist.
 3. Sales between a private seller and a private buyer, or a private seller and a museum, without the participation of an art market professional.
 4. Where the sale price of the work of art is less than €1,000.

What is the basis of calculation of the resale right?

The sale price, i.e. "the price obtained for the sale, net of the tax payable on the sale". The Regulations do not say whether the basis of calculation (the "sale price") includes the auctioneer's seller commission and/or buyer's premium, or the dealer's commission on the sale.
The Patent Office has suggested that if the sale is by auction, the "sale price" is the hammer price and if the sale is through a dealer, it is the "ticket price". That interpretation of the meaning of "sale price" is not binding. In the event of a dispute on the meaning of "sale price", the Courts will decide.

At what rate?

4%            for the portion of the sale price up to            €50,000
3%            for the portion of the sale price from             €50,000.01 to €200,000
1%            for the portion of the sale price from             €200,000.01 to €350,000
0.5%         for the portion of the sale price from             €350,000.01 to €500,000
0.25%       for the portion of the sale price exceeding   €500,000.
The total amount of the royalty may not exceed €12,500.

Who will collect?

The UK has opted for collective management. This means that the resale right will be collected through a collecting society. Artists cannot collect themselves.
A collecting society manages intellectual property rights on behalf of artists. DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society) is currently the principal collecting society in the UK and it will collect the royalty on behalf of artists it represents in the UK.    

Can the artist waive the right?


Will artists from other countries be entitled to the resale right when their works are sold in the UK?

The Regulations provide that artists who are nationals of the following countries are entitled to the resale right:
    * 25 EU countries
    * Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland (EEA countries)
    * 27 countries applying Droit de Suite listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations. These are countries which impose the resale right on works by nationals of EU/EEA countries (principle of reciprocity). The four key countries are Brazil, Chile, Turkey and Russia. The USA and Switzerland are not on the list.
The list is likely to change over time, depending on which countries adopt (or abolish) the resale right.