February 05, 2020 Feature

Droit de suite: A U.K. Perspective on the Artist’s Resale Right

Simon T.L. Marshall

©2020. Published in Landslide, Vol. 12, No. 3, January/February 2020, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Over the last decade, the global art market has grown by 9 percent, rising to $67.4 billion in 2018.1 Despite the art market thriving, most artists find themselves struggling financially. A report published by the Arts Council in 2018 on the income and livelihoods of artists in the U.K. found that 90 percent of artists do not earn enough from their art practice to support themselves, with two-thirds of the artists surveyed earning less than £5,000 ($6,155).2 Although a few artists may find fame and fortune, the reality for most is an increasing difficulty to meet their living expenses while trying to sustain their practice, provide for their families, and make provisions for the management of their affairs after death. This is why droit de suite, or the artist’s resale right (ARR), is so important. It provides artists with vital income, enabling them to continue creating works. It also supports artists’ estates by helping them to preserve the artist’s legacy long after the artist’s death.

Premium Content For:
  • Intellectual Property Law Section
Join - Now