Artistate Q & A

The Artist’s Resale Right (ARR)

In England, the ARR (also known as the droit de suite) entitles authors of original works of art in which copyright subsists and their successors in title to a royalty each time one of their works is resold through an auction house or an art market professional.

1. When will I be entitled to a royalty?

The ARR only applies when the re-sale price of a work reaches or exceeds the sterling equivalent of €1,000 and is calculated on a sliding scale as indicated in the table below. However, it is important to note that the total amount of the royalty paid for any single sale cannot exceed the sterling equivalent of €12,500. The ARR is exempt from VAT.

Royalty

Portion of the resale price

4%

up to €50,000

3%

between €50,000.01 and €200,000

1%

between €200,000.01 and €350,000

0.5%

between €350,000.01 and €500,000

0.25%

in excess of €500,000

2. Are there exceptions to the ARR?

There are exceptions to the ARR. The following types of sales do not generate a right to royalty payments:

  • The first sale by the artist;

  • Sales in which the work being resold was bought directly from the artist less than three years previously and is being resold for €10,000 or less; and

  • Sales between private individuals, without the use of an art market professional, or to public, non-profit making museums.

3. How can I obtain the payment of my ARR?

Collective management of ARR is compulsory in England. Therefore, artists and their estates cannot seek payment directly from art market professionals. The two main collecting societies are the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), which collect and distribute the royalty.

By Mona Yapova, Constantine Cannon LLP

The law varies from country to country.  In this section of the website, we describe the law as it applies in England and Wales.  Whilst similar principles apply in other European countries, and to a lesser extent, in the USA, please do not assume that the law is the same.  For example, artists have stronger moral rights in countries applying the Napoleonic codes than in England and Wales. The information provided on this page is general and may not apply in a specific situation. In doubt, please seek legal advice. This information is not intended to create, nor does receipt of it constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. The authors accept no responsibility for the content of this page.