Resale royalty right for visual artists scheme
On 9 December 2009, the Federal Government fulfilled its 2007 election promise to implement a scheme providing for visual artists to receive a royalty on resales of their works by passing the Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 (Act). From 9 June 2010, visual artists will have a right to receive a five per cent royalty payment on secondary sales of their works over $1,000.
The Federal Government has appointed Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) to set up and administer the scheme. CAL will take a 10 per cent administration fee from all royalties collected under the scheme.
Importantly, sellers, buyers and art market professionals will need to ensure that they agree who will be responsible for paying the royalty in any particular transaction as the Act provides that they will all be jointly and severally liable to the artist for the relevant amount. Sellers will also need to ensure that they notify CAL of all commercial resales of an artwork within 90 days of a sale. Sellers who fail to comply with their obligations under the Act face civil penalties of up to $110,000 for a corporation and $22,000 for an individual.
While the scheme commences in a few months, there is still some way to go before benefits under the scheme start flowing to visual artists.
More details of the scheme will be contained in the June edition of the Davies Collison Cave eMag.