Rep. Nadler Welcomes Hearing on Artists’ Resale Rights

Jul 14, 2014 Issues: Jobs, Labor and the Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, is pleased to announce that the Subcommittee’s next hearing will be on moral rights, termination rights, resale royalty, and copyright term.  Congressman Nadler introduced the American Royalties Too (ART) Act, which will be discussed at the hearing, earlier this year in order to ensure visual artists are compensated when their original artwork is resold.  His legislation would bring fairness to American artists who, unlike their fellow visual artists in 70 countries, do not receive any compensation when their works are resold at public auction.

“I thank Chairman Coble and Chairman Goodlatte for including a review of visual artist resale royalties as part of their overall review of the Copyright Act,” said Congressman Nadler.  “As the U.S. Copyright Office noted in its report last year, the time has come for us to consider establishing a resale royalty right here in the United States.  We should join the 70 other countries who provide a resale royalty right in an effort to fairly compensate visual artists.  This would ensure that, in addition to resale royalties for works resold in this country, American artists also benefit when their works are sold overseas.  My bill attempts to correct an existing injustice and would help American artists wherever their works are sold -- whether it be in New York, London, or Paris.  I welcome the opportunity to discuss my proposal with my colleagues.”

The American Royalties Too (ART) Act would provide for a resale royalty of 5 percent (but not to exceed $35,000) to be paid to the artist for every work of visual art sold for more than $5000 at public auction.  Last December, the United States Copyright Office issued a report supporting “Congressional consideration of a resale royalty right, or droit de suite, which would give artists a percentage of the amount paid for a work each time it is resold by another party.”   In that report, Resale Royalties:  An Updated Analysis, the Copyright Office, noted that more than 70 countries have a resale royalty right -- including all members of the European Union.  By adopting a resale royalty, the United States would be joining the rest of the world in recognizing this important right. Furthermore, these other countries have reciprocal agreements, which mean that they will pay U.S. artists for works sold in their countries if the United States adopts a resale royalty here.  The ART Act will ensure that American artists could receive compensation from sales at home and abroad.