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Friday, July 20, 2012

A New Revolution?


IAnD Exclusive


By Radhika
Photography: Courtesy Clark House Initiative & World Wide Web

Painting by A. A. Raiba

Artist's Resale Right being practiced in UK and France should also be introduced in India, urges an ongoing exhibition in Mumbai titled AA Raiba: Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights


Organized by the Clark House Initiative, 20% of the resale of the exhibited 12 works, created by veteran artist AA Raiba, aged 90, will be handed over to the artist in an effort to convince the Indian art market to morally follow the Artist’s Resale Right.

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This right or Droit De Suite compels an auction house, art gallery, private collector or any other party reselling the work of an artist, to pay a certain percent of the resale value of the work to the artist or his heirs, every single time it is resold, while the artist is living and after 70 years of his death, says Sumesh Sharma, co-founder of Clark House.

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Existent in France since 1858, Droit De Suite was also introduced in UK on February 14, 2006. India has no such law. The Clark House Initiative has taken its initial step to introduce the system in India. “To introduce such a law in Indian legislation would take a long while. But meanwhile people should practice it morally,” says Sharma.

F N Souza's Birth (1955)

Raiba’s works, which were sold in a price range of Rs 150 - 250 in the 1960s, now costs Rs 6 - 12 lakhs. “It is only fair that Raiba, who continues to lead a modest life, gets some benefit of the escalated prices of the works,” says Zasha Colah, another co-founder of the art space. Many of our senior artists continue to live in penury, despite the fact that the escalated prices of their art works are reaping huge profits for their collectors, she adds.

S H. Raza's Saurashtra

Isn’t it fair then that the artists are given the right to get a small share of the work’s resale value? After all, they are the creators of the works.

Tyeb Mehta’s Kali Head (Green) (1998)

10 comments :

  1. Would any artists would object to this idea? Don't we all dream of passive income?
    Posted by Laurel Sternberg on Linkedin Group: Portrait Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  2. That would be nice in theory, but I think might do more harm than good to the majority of artists, whose buyers buy because they like the art, not because they believe it has investment value. The harm might be fewer people deciding to buy art, if they thought it might create legal problems later.

    In the music industry, I believe there are organizations you can pay royalties thru, like ASCAP. I don't know how that would work for art. No support exists to enforce it.

    But I'd be more than willing to change my mind if I saw a way it could work smoothly for both parties, without just creating a superfluous middle man that parasitizes both sides.

    It is more important to me in the here and now, to make sales, and to prevent copying/infringing, than to worry whether some lucky or prescient buyer later makes a profit by reselling my work. Assuming I was still living when my work went up in value, his/her profiting off work I'd already profited from once, would not bother me. At least, I don't think it would. Ask me again in 20 yrs.
    Posted by Cindy Schnackel on Linkedin Group: Artist Marketing Resources in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  3. As the article states: Droit de Suite has been in existent in France since 1858, Droit De Suite was also introduced in UK on February 14, 2006.
    Posted by Marie Kazalia on Linkedin Group: Artist Marketing Resources in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laws under The international copyright convention have been in place for years as they have in the USA and Europe. What you mean by "Resale Rights" needs to be defined more to best understand how to respond to your question.
    Posted by William J. Greenwood on Linkedin Group: Landscape Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Um, no.

    Aside from the fact that it's just another opportunity for government to intrude on the lives of private citizens, it's a ridiculous notion in the first place.

    The guy that designed the Packard is not getting royalties on the cars that are currently selling for 100x what they sold for when originally produced. If someone buys an artist's work, the artist gets the sale price (minus any gallery commissions, etc.), and a bump in his reputation. If the work re-sells for more than the original purchase price, great; the artist is becoming a "name." But the seller shouldn't have to give the artist a cut of his (the buyer's) investment; he did that already, when he purchased the painting.

    In the U.S., the artist still retains copyright, even on work sold, unless he gives that up, writing, at the time of sale or later. It's probably a bad idea to mass-produce prints of original works, but there are plenty of ways for an artist to make money from their work without asking the government to force buyers to give up a portion of their investment earnings. No matter what you're producing, if you sell your art it is commercial art; as commercial art, it is a PRODUCT.

    The whole concept is ridiculous. I can't believe that this is even a serious discussion, let alone being actual law in some countries.
    Posted by Allen Morse III on Linkedin Group: Art for sale, price and size in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  6. this should be done all over the world
    Posted by rico fonseca on Linkedin Group: Art Marketing in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  7. It brings artists the same rights as other creatives such as writers and composers, that can only be a good thing. Why should an artist, who sold a work for, £500 say, not get a proportion of the price when it sells for £1000's. The artist has put in just as much work building their reputation as the original person who bought the piece.
    Posted by Carol Miller on Linkedin Group: Art for sale, price and size in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Artists still retain the ownership of the image; it's the physical work, itself that is being bought and sold. Writers and composers don't get a cut of profit every time someone re-sells a book or musical score. They receive a royalty-- under LICENSE agreement-- from a distributor that sells the CONTENTS of the book or musical score. The writing, music, whatever, is intellectual property-- exactly the same as any trademarked or copyright item (again, a car, for instance), and the physical investment should not be subject to artist's royalties.

    Artists who want to make money from their images have plenty of means of doing so, without having to fleece investors. What stops most artists from doing so is the inherent snobbery (started and encouraged by art dealers) towards merchandising.

    And as far as it being a "good thing" goes, I can think of very few people that would be interested in supporting the work of an emerging artist and spending thousands on a painting that is expected to appreciate considerably in the course of say, 10 years, when they're going to have to pay 10-20% of the sale cost to someone who a) benefited directly from the original purchase, both financially and by reputation, and b) had nothing to do with the re-sale, as well as c) having had to do very little with the "initial investment" other than the fact that they produced the original piece (and in many cases, that "investment" consisted of $10.00 worth of materials and a couple of hours of their day).

    In other words, it's only good for "established" artists, and not really great for them, although it looks good on paper.

    Architects don't get royalties when a house they designed is re-sold; car designers don't get a check every time someone buys a used car; authors don't get checks from the used book store and nobody is going after yard sales because Gucci didn't get a cut of the $15.00 received for the used handbag. And to be honest, they shouldn't. If agents added 10% to the cost of every house they sold, so that the architect could get a cut of the sales price, people would FREAK.

    The person that bought the piece is the REASON that artist has a reputation. No sales, no reputation; that's how it works. The fact that the artist sold that first piece for $500.00 is the reason that he was able to sell the next for $750.00. Making the argument that the customer owes the artist because the customer did the artist a favor is both circular and ridiculous.

    Posted by Allen Morse III on Linkedin Group: Art for sale, price and size in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great art and artists have been made not because of governmental intrusion, but because if an individual's pain, joy and personal experience. What sort of rent seeking career do we want to buld for artists - that they should become dependant on their past worksand not rise to greater heights

    ReplyDelete
  10. A commercial artist sells his/her works' printing rights, which means he/she reserves all rights for future printing rights, while retaining the work and the copyright to the work.

    Since a work of fine art once sold also becomes a speculative product, it follows suit that the artist should obtain a percentage of the resale over the original price, while retaining the copyright and printing rights of the piece. This was in front of Congress in the 80s.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Should Droit de Suite/Artist's Resale Rights be encouraged and legalised via statutory governance?

    ReplyDelete

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