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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Resale Royalty Scheme on track for June 9 commencement

Media release
31 May 2010

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Arts Minister Peter Garrett today said preparations for the introduction of Australia’s first ever resale royalty scheme for visual artists on June 9 are well on track.

The Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 establishes the right for visual artists to receive five per cent of the sale price when works are resold through the art market for $1000 or more. The right applies to living artists and for a period of 70 years after an artist’s death.

“The introduction of the scheme is a great result for artists and their estates—who will for the first time share in the profits made from the resale of their work,” Mr Garrett said.

“Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), the Government-appointed collecting society for five years, brings two decades of experience in copyright management to setting up the resale royalty scheme.

“CAL has already been in contact with over 500 galleries and Indigenous art centres and is running information sessions in every state and territory to ensure that arts professionals understand their obligations under the scheme.”

The Resale Royalty Act requires art market professionals to report to CAL on art sales, so that CAL can determine when a resale is payable.

“CAL is working with the sector to develop a reporting process that provides enough information for CAL to meet its obligations, while minimising the burden on the market,” Mr Garrett said.

“To assist in doing this, CAL has set up an art trade advisory panel, made up of leading professionals in the art industry, to assist with establishing the scheme. This panel of representatives from the sector is guiding and advising CAL on specific issues for the arts sector.”

Members of the panel are Brian Johns (CAL director), Ben Clark (Sotheby’s), Beverly Knight (Alcaston Galleries), Philip Bacon (Philip Bacon Galleries), Tom Lowenstein (Lowenstein Arts Management) and John Oster (Desart).

“I would encourage any gallery uncertain about the administration of the scheme to contact CAL directly, or to download the Art Trade fact sheets at CAL’s website.

“The resale royalty scheme is an important victory for Australian artists. Since the passage of this important legislation in November last year the industry has been aware of the planned commencement of scheme and the need to adjust their systems accordingly.

“Art dealers and galleries need to get behind this important scheme given the benefits that it will bring to the artists, who are at the heart of the art industry.”

The scheme will operate from 9 June 2010. It is prospective, applying only to resales of original works acquired after the scheme takes effect. Once the scheme starts, the resale royalty will be payable on the second transfer of ownership. More information at 

Commonwealth of Australia