Stronger rights for artists over their resold works under new regulations

Artists will be entitled to information about the resale of their work within 30 days of making a request.

NEW REGULATIONS SIGNED by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar will give artists have enhanced rights over their resold works.

When a piece of work is resold by a gallery or art dealer the artists who created the work is due royalties. They are entitled to information about sales, such as date of sale and price paid, so that they can calculate and claim the resale royalty that is due.

However in some cases there have been long delays in receiving responses to such enquiries and the only recourse an artist had if they didn’t receive the information was to the High Court, potentially involving high costs.

Under the new regulations artists will be entitled to information about the resale of their art within 30 days of making a request and recourse will be to a lower court, the Circuit Court.

Today the Tánaiste said these changes will make it easier for artists to get the necessary information so that they can claim the royalties they are due in a much more timely and efficient manner.

“No one who has created a piece of work, should be left in the dark about what has happened to their creation and I hope now the regulations will work a bit better for artists and creators,” he said.

Varadjar said he wanted to recognise Robert Ballagh’s campaigning on this issue in particular.

The artist brought a legal challenge against the State over its  failure to implement an EU directive on the resale rights of artists in 2006. He was awarded €5,000 damages by the High Court to compensate him for loss of royalties over the resale of his paintings. 

Ballagh continued to push the government to strengthen artists’ rights in the years following his court action.

“Mr Ballagh has been tireless in his pursuit of improving these regulations for artists and I want to recognise his contribution today,” the Tánaiste said.

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