How can I claim for royalties when my original artwork is sold?

Artists’ resale right

The artist’s resale right is a new intellectual property right under European Union Law entitling authors of original works of art to a percentage of the sale price whenever a piece of their work is made available for resale on the commercial art market.

When was this right introduced to the UK?

This right was first introduced to the UK in February 2006 under EC Directive 2001/84.

What works of art are eligible for artists’ resale right?

  • Artists’ resale right will only apply to works of art which are protected by copyright.
  • Currently the law states that only artist’s who are alive are able to claim for artist’s resale right. However, it is hoped that an amendment will be forthcoming which enables beneficiaries of dead artists to claim for royalties.
  • Copyright can still exist for works of art where the author is dead due to the duration of copyright afforded to works of art. If is therefore felt that the artists resale right should apply to these works also.  This is expected to be introduced some time during 2010.

When will Artists’ Resale Right come into play?

  • Each time an artist’s work is resold for a price of over €1,000 after it has been sold for the first time the original artist will be entitled to a percentage of the sale proceeds.
  • Originally the threshold was for works over €3,000 however, a UK decision in 2006 reduced this to €1,000 which is what we see today.

How will the royalties be calculated?

Artists’ Resale Right is levied on a sliding scale from between 4% to 0.25% of the selling price to a maximum of €12,500.

Who is responsible for the payment of the resale fee?

The buyer and the seller will be jointly responsible for the payment of the resale fee, not the artist.

How much will I receive if a piece of my art is resold?

The sliding scale to work out the artists’ resale right is as follows:

  • From €0 to €50,000 – the original artist will receive 4%
  • From €50,000 to €200,000 – the original artist will receive 3%
  • From €200,000 to €350,000 – the original artist will receive 1%
  • From €350,000 to €500,000 – the original artist will receive 0.5%
  • For anything sold for an amount above €500,000 – the original artist will receive 0.25% to a maximum of €12,500

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For more information on:

  • Will I be required to pay VAT on my Artists’ Resale Right?
  • How can I arrange for this royalty to be paid to me?
  • Collecting Agency
  • Who makes the decision of which agency to join?
  • Is it possible to be a member of more than one society?
  • Is it possible to collect my artists’ resale right on my own?
  • Can I change Agencies?