UK Artists’ Creativity ‘Rewarded’

March 2006

Fine Art, design

British artists will receive well-deserved reward for their creativity through the introduction of regulations giving them the right to a royalty on the re-sale of their works, Minister for Science and Innovation Lord Sainsbury has said. From the 14 th February, when an artist’s work is re-sold on the UK art market for the equivalent of €1,000 or more, he or she will receive a royalty of up to four per cent of the sale price. Lord Sainsbury said: “The artists’’ re-sale right regulations ensure a just reward for living British artists’ creativity while protecting the valuable UK art market.” The regulations have been introduced to comply with the EU Artist’s Re-sale Right Directive (2001/84/EC). The directive required the Government to set the threshold at which the royalty is paid at between €0 and €3,000. Eighty-eight per cent of works by living artists sold in the UK in the €1,000 to €3,000 price range in 2003-2004 were by British artists. The UK Government successfully negotiated a delay in the application of the royalty to works by deceased artists until 2010, with a possible extension to 2012, and will seek to extend it indefinitely. The Statutory Instrument laid before Parliament in December 2005 contained provisions which included (a) that the royalty will be calculated as a percentage of the sale price, with a tapering scale starting at 4% for works valued to €50,000 and decreasing to 0.25% for the proportion of sale above €500,000 and (b) that the maximum payment on any sale is fixed at €12,500 and (c) that all royalties will also be collected on behalf of artists by a collecting society to reduce the burden on business. In the twelve months to March 2004, 1259 works by living artists sold at auction would have been covered by this new law (and approximately the same again in private galleries and dealers.

This update is taken from a Government press release.

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