Lawmakers Propose Resale Right For US Artwork To Harm Young Artist & Help Already Successful Ones

from the droit-de-suite-should-be-dumped-tout-de-suite dept

Over the summer, we wrote about a ridiculous new lobbying effort, led by the author of the DMCA, Bruce Lehman, to create an artist resale right in the US. We’ve discussed similar plans found elsewhere, and there’s no way to describe them other than as a ridiculously bad idea. It’s basically an attempt to have artists get paid multiple times for the same piece of work, without anyone planning these things by talking to an economist about how badly that will backfire. Either way, it looks like the lobbying effort has succeeded so far, as Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Senator Herb Kohl, have introduced bills to create such a right across the US in both the House and the Senate.

Basically, the idea is that after an artist sells a work, if the work is later resold, the artist gets a piece of the proceeds. The economically clueless thinking behind this is that artists sell works off when they’re unknown and starving for little money… but then when they become famous, it seems only “fair” that the artist should get a cut of the multi-million dollar sale of their artwork. Except that ignores common sense and reality (is it any wonder that it was easy to find two politicians to support such a plan?). First of all, artist resale rights harm artists. That’s because it now makes it more expensive for anyone to invest in art, knowing that they get less on every resale, because some has to go back to the artist. Any time you make it more expensive for people to invest in young artists, you harm those artists.

More importantly, this only helps already super successful artists, because they’re the only ones who make money off of this. The Nadler and Kohl bills only apply to sales of artwork over $10,000. If an artist has works that are selling for that much they’re already super successful and can make a lot more money by simply making new art and selling it themselves. In other words, once you’ve reached the stage where your old art is selling for $10,000, you shouldn’t be relying on an artist resale right anyway. You should be making new art and selling it for a lot of money directly and cashing in.

So, to recap: this kind of right harms new artists by making it more expensive for anyone to invest in their art, and it only helps super successful artists who can already make a ton of money from their art. It seems like the exact and total opposite of what would be smart policy on a copyright issue.

What’s amazing is that these bills keep popping up. The UK and Australia recently passed these laws, and California already has one — though it’s widely ignored. You would think that politicians would be concerned about introducing legislation that hurts young up-and-coming artists and only helps the superstar artists, but apparently that wasn’t a concern for these particular politicians or for Bruce Lehman, who was lobbying on behalf of… the Artists Rights Society, whose main goal here is to be the middleman to collect these fees (not exactly an altruistic position).

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Comments on “Lawmakers Propose Resale Right For US Artwork To Harm Young Artist & Help Already Successful Ones”

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145 Comments
MAJikMARCer (profile) says:

Just how many people does this bill "help"?

I’m not suggesting that minority groups shouldn’t have laws narrowly focused on them, but I wonder just how many people this bill would actually affect and how many of them are actually for it?

As some one who used to dabble in the arts I can’t help but understand this bill to a degree. If I’m just starting out and one of my early pieces sells for a few hundred dollars and then a couple years later I’m a big shot and my original piece is being resold for a much larger sum, sure I’d want a cut of that!

But is that fair/reasonable? I sold that piece of art. It’s no longer mine. Sure I created it, but I don’t ‘own’ it any more. Why do I deserve a cut? The person who bought it, made a good investment. Of course the art could have just as easily not appreciated in value. At the time of original sale I didn’t care about that. I was making a sale.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Just how many people does this bill "help"?

It’s not necessarily the artists, though we’ve heard as much from some of the older musicians who want to exact monopoly rents for some song they recorded 50 years ago.

It’s mostly the middlemen who stand to benefit from this and other IP laws. Corporations are the only “beings” that live long enough to fully profit off of the length of copyright beyond the lifetime of the artist.

To have a system where artists get paid for the resale of their work, you need a bureaucratic corporate middleman maintaining a database of works and contact and payment information. There’s profit to be made there, especially with “creative accounting” that sees little or no payments to artists.

John Doe says:

Re: Just how many people does this bill "help"?

The person who bought it, made a good investment. Of course the art could have just as easily not appreciated in value.

You might be on to something. Lets hold the artist liable for losses on future sales. That is only fair, right? If they get to participate in the profits, they should participate in the losses as well.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Just how many people does this bill "help"?

Let’s apply this concept to other goods. Let’s take cars for example. Would you think it right or fair to have to pay the manufacturer a cut of a used car sale if that car has appreciated in value due to rarity?

No, this is replete with the concept of modifying a contract after the fact. Besides, they don’t really deserve a cut of the transaction, they didn’t earn it. The artist didn’t add value to the art, society did by taking an interest in the artist’s works. That’s basically getting something for nothing.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Just how many people does this bill "help"?

The main impact of something like this is to complicate the resale of goods and effectively strip individuals of property rights. Something that is less useful is less valuable. This is something that Media Moguls continually fail to grasp. If something is more valuable to the customer (for whatever reason), that will INCREASE demand.

Destroying the value of a work will only DECREASE demand.

Don’t place burdens on resale. It will just make people less motivated to buy to begin with.

Then there’s the entire overhead of administering all of this…

A big mess all around.

Loki says:

Re: Just how many people does this bill "help"?

It’s not fair or reasonable (well maybe to an unreasonable person it might be). I sold the painting for what I sold it for. If my reputation makes the worth of my work more valuable, then I make another painting and sell it for correspondingly higher profits.

It’s no different than a lawyer or a auto mechanic or a doctor. They charge low for their services as they start out and build their reputation. Then they get to charge correspondingly higher fees as their reputation builds.

If I can’t continue to deliver goods people want, then I go work at a gas station or a factory like everyone else.

Violated (profile) says:

Wonky Pyramid

This sounds like a Pyramid sales scheme.

Now if only I could get a cut from all the items my online company sells should these items be sold on second hand. Nice but it would never happen.

This proposal has two obvious faults. The first is that the buyer is the one to take the risk in the painting. So if the painting loses value then does the artist have to cough up part of the loss to compensate the seller? All win and no loss is hardly a fair open market.

Then second would be if the artist become famous they can live their fame and make new art to sell for millions. That is unless they since lost their hands in a lawnmower challenge but that is karma for you.

So this is only another group of people wanting something for nothing. Free cash. They seem to forget when you sell an item you transfer ownership.

The end conclusion is if the artist wants to take the risk in the painting then they should not have sold it in the first place.

nathaniel (user link) says:

may only benefit secondary markets

Well thought-out, Mike. I totally agree this would only benefit successful artists – and perhaps more than that, gallerists and dealers who also get a cut from resales (usually around 50% of what the artist gets). Generally (tho not in all cases), young artists think of their work as gone once it’s out the door (I speak from experience here); it is dealers, especially secondary market dealers, who continue to follow market values, resales, etc. I wonder if there are any clauses in there for deceased artists about their estates or dealers handling them…
(FYI: the primary market sees dealers and gallerists working directly between living artists and buyers, secondary market is about resales – they don’t usually work with – living – artists directly, only buyers and sellers and estates. Young and emerging artists’ only opportunities for success – at least in the commercial art realm led by galleries – lie in the primary market)

Anonymous Coward says:

So does the artist pay the buyer of the art a ‘cut’ of the losses if the investment made on the original work doesn’t pan out? It sounds like the bill is keeping all of the risk on art investors but taking a chunk of their pay-offs when those risks are rewarded. That’s not a sound economic strategy for any investment risks you ostensibly want people to take. Unless the goal is to encourage people to be less risky in their investments. Doesn’t this also encourage established artists to create fewer additional works? I mean why create something new if I can earn a residual income from work I’ve already done? Surely the economic incentive to create will be diminished by creating such a revenue stream.

John Doe says:

We should apply this to everything

Why should a car collector get the full benefit of selling a 1967 Ford AC Cobra for $250,00 when Ford only got $5,000 for the thing back in 1967. Ford should get a cut of the $250,000 shouldn’t they?

This is ridiculous and I don’t see how it could stand up in court. It basically impedes on the right of first sale. But then again, what about IP law doesn’t?

Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

Re: We should apply this to everything

Yeah, I take more issue with this impeding first sale rights than helping or hurting certain artist groups. Once someone else owns a work the seller isn’t part of the equation any more. This sounds like some folks in the tangible goods world are jealous of the anti-consumer trend in licensing digital products instead of selling them.

Frankly if an artist wanted to sell only 80% ownership of a work and attach some contractual agreement concerning re-seller’s rights, I bet they could do so right now. I also bet they’d have a hard time finding customers to line up around the block to buy something that they don’t actually get to own.

This legislation sounds like it would limit consumer choice to an arrangement that would never exist in a competitive and free market. The only other choices left would be not to purchase at all or… *gasp* purchase from foreign artist who don’t automatically employ a “you don’t own your property” clause.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘The UK and Australia recently passed these laws’.

yet another case of governments world wide collaborating with each other. get a ridiculous, encumbering law introduced in one country and it then happens in another. much like the entertainment industries and their stupid ideas of being non-competitive! kill something off (because people will buy less) instead of producing more and better products that more people can afford!

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Yet another industry about to move offshore

It’s almost a no-brainer to predict that this will cause the secondary art industry to move offshore. Shipping a piece of art to an auction house out of the country would be cheaper than paying the new fees, and once out of the country, the new fees no longer apply.

Next up, export restrictions on artwork.

anonymous says:

another situation where paid for politicians cripple the majority for the sake of the minority. no questions asked. pathetic!

out of curiosity, how many artists belong to the ‘Artists Rights Society’? have they authorised this? have they thought it through or just assumed that they will get the money and not those inbetweeners, like normally happens.

average_joe (profile) says:

Oh look, Mike Masnick doesn’t support a proposed law that would give artists more rights. Shocker! And where’s his evidence that such a right would actually hurt artists? There is none–it’s faith-based FUD. Double shocker!

More importantly, this only helps already super successful artists, because they’re the only ones who make money off of this. The Nadler and Kohl bills only apply to sales of artwork over $10,000. If an artist has works that are selling for that much they’re already super successful and can make a lot more money by simply making new art and selling it themselves.

Your logic is so twisted it hurts. If this only applies to artists who are “already super successful,” and if you admit that this “only helps already super successful artists,” then you have just admitted that this will help the very artists it applies to.

In other words, once you’ve reached the stage where your old art is selling for $10,000, you shouldn’t be relying on an artist resale right anyway. You should be making new art and selling it for a lot of money directly and cashing in.

Or they could just do both. Sheesh.

So, to recap: this kind of right harms new artists by making it more expensive for anyone to invest in their art, and it only helps super successful artists who can already make a ton of money from their art.

Again, you already admitted that this only applies to artists who can already sell their artwork for $10,000 or more, and you already admitted that this will “only help[]” them. So how does it “harm[] new artists by making it more expensive to invest in their art”? If someone’s willing to pay $10,000 or more for a piece of artwork, do you have ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that they wouldn’t spend a little bit more? Nope.

What’s amazing is that these bills keep popping up.

What’s amazing is how twisted and stupid your logic is. What’s amazing is how you HATE that artists have ANY RIGHTS. What’s amazing is how you don’t think artists should exercise the rights they have. What’s amazing is how you defend piracy day in and day out, but you think that no one notices that you’re pro-piracy.

And what’s truly amazing is how you pretend that your policy preference is really an economic reality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

average_joe the defender of monopolies peddling his twisted view of the world where only artists deserve rights and other people need to pay or else SHOCKER.

You do remember when house builders tried to pass a law saying that if you sold a house you should pay them a little?

Why didn’t it pass?
Now why some douche artist should get that right?

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh please Joe. It’s clear from your rant that you support the bill. You just railed against Mike saying that his opposition here shows he “HATES” artists and doesn’t want them to have “ANY” rights. Obviously you support this bill – which is pretty ridiculous. Care to explain why you like it so much?

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Support it? I’ve never heard of it until a few moments ago. And I don’t support it–as I said, sounds stupid to me but I’d have to learn more about it first to form an actual position on the matter.

Mike does hate the fact that artists have rights in their works, and he does not support artists exercising those rights. That’s just a fact.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Support it? I’ve never heard of it until a few moments ago.

Funny – that didn’t stop you from churning out a page of polemics about how stupid Mike is to oppose it… Maybe next time you should stop and think before getting up in arms defending a bill you are later going to claim “sounds stupid”

As it stands you have expended far more breath in favour of this bill than opposed to it, so I’ve still got you under the “support” column…

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Huh? I can disagree with Mike’s “reasoning” yet still agree with him on the ultimate issue. One has nothing to do with other.

Oh please – quit trying to pretend you’ve put thought into this. You just admitted that you only just heard of this bill – and clearly you leapt into your rant before even considering it. You’re just another bitter failed artist, I suspect.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What facts? It’s just a bunch of opinion masked as fact (they should have asked an economist, like Mike!). His argument is not even logical (he admits it can only help successful artists, with no explanation of how it hurts unsuccessful ones). The whole post is just another anti-IP, anti-artist rant. And (of course!) it’s all founded on faith-based FUD couched in economic terms to give it heft. What a joke.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

(he admits it can only help successful artists, with no explanation of how it hurts unsuccessful ones)

As the post states, it hurts unsuccessful ones by making investment in their art less appealing. The benefits go to successful artists, but the costs come from small ones. I thought that was pretty damn clear. Are you really that bad at reading comprehension or, y’know, just the reading part?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

He states it only helps one part of the group you call artists in detriment of everybody else specially the ones that are starting.

Why should anybody care about art?
If I want something the next contract will be ridiculously onesided the “artist” will have to give up his soul to get work how is that for consequences?

Since this is not a uniform law that applies worldwide, people can just find art elsewhere so local artists will have no jobs.

You apparently lack the imagination necessary to see how bad this could turn out, now explain how a very small percentage of people deserve rights that only benefit them at the expense of everybody else?

Is just like copyright, it benefits only a minority of people and although in theory it applies to everybody in practice things are different the only people able to afford those protections are the people who least need them and they benefit from a granted monopoly that harms not only others from the same group, but it also harms society and it is starting to get serious because censorship and surveilance is not a joke and the root cause of it is the monopoly granted, that was a mistake and it is time to correct that mistake by ending it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Once something is sold, that should be the end of it, you produced something, you sold what the market would pay you and you should be grateful, not try to turn the clock backwards and extort others, it is not your art anymore, it is not your work anymore you sold it remember?

Why should you get anything at all for it is beyond me, that is also why I want to see copyrights and patents gone.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Things get sold all the time where less than complete right, title, and interest changes hands, so your argument that this isn’t how sales should work rings hollow. Sales do work like that. I bought a DVD just last night (yes, some people still collect DVDs!). I own the physical disc, but I am only a nonexclusive licensee of movie that’s on it.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Things get sold all the time where less than complete right, title, and interest changes hands, so your argument that this isn’t how sales should work rings hollow. Sales do work like that. I bought a DVD just last night (yes, some people still collect DVDs!). I own the physical disc, but I am only a nonexclusive licensee of movie that’s on it.

The commenter pointed out that copyrights and patents are part of the same problem right in his comment – so clearly he is already aware of what you’re saying here. Are you done acting like you’re so much smarter than everyone, or do you still have some more unearned smugness to get out of your system?

I can’t believe I didn’t realize it before. You’re just a bitter failed artist of some kind…

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

> I bought a DVD just last night (yes, some people
> still collect DVDs!). I own the physical disc,
> but I am only a nonexclusive licensee of movie
> that’s on it.

That is a bald faced lie.

You own the copy of that work.

There is no “license”.

You can resell or rent that physical item in any manner you choose. It’s your personal property. You can use or dispose of it accordingly. We have rights as individuals despite your attempts to claim that we do not.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You often claim you are just a legal scholar, only interested in correctly examining and interpreting the law, and not approaching these debates from a moral position with a strong personal opinion.

Then you go and flip out about something like this for no immediately obvious reason.

So I think it’s clear that you have another motivation… and I wonder what it is. Are you a failed artist, Joe?

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Your logic is so twisted it hurts. If this only applies to artists who are “already super successful,” and if you admit that this “only helps already super successful artists,” then you have just admitted that this will help the very artists it applies to.

So you admit that this law will only benefit those artists that don’t actually need the help.

Or they could just do both. Sheesh.

Or they could work like every other person in the world and make money on the work they do today not the work they did 20 years ago. The world does not work the way you IP maximalists want it to work. I am doing work today that will benefit those organizations I work for for years to come. I don’t expect to get paid in perpetuity for their gain. I expect to get paid for the work I do today. Why should an artist be treated any differently?

Again, you already admitted that this only applies to artists who can already sell their artwork for $10,000 or more, and you already admitted that this will “only help[]” them. So how does it “harm[] new artists by making it more expensive to invest in their art”? If someone’s willing to pay $10,000 or more for a piece of artwork, do you have ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that they wouldn’t spend a little bit more? Nope.

Let’s think about this for a minute. There is an arbitrary ceiling of $10,000. I don’t know what the cut is but let’s say it is 20%. Now that piece of art that will sell for $10,000 will only net me $8000. Why would I sell it for $10,000 and pay the artist when I could sell it for $9000, make more money and not have to pay a fee? How is that going to help an as yet unsuccessful artist?

You see that places an unfair price ceiling on the work of artists that aren’t currently selling works for more than $10,000 at the time of this law passing. This prevents those artists from becoming successful.

What’s amazing is how twisted and stupid your logic is. What’s amazing is how you HATE that artists have ANY RIGHTS. What’s amazing is how you don’t think artists should exercise the rights they have.

Mike doesn’t hate artists. Mike wants them to succeed. That is why he is arguing against a bill that would make it far harder for artists to succeed. Why you can’t see that is beyond me. You would think a law student would have a better grasp of unintended consequences.

And what’s truly amazing is how you pretend that your policy preference is really an economic reality.

What is really amazing is how many trolls have no clue how economics work.

RonKaminsky says:

Re: Re: Interesting

You’ve found one reason which I’ve never seen before why this legislation makes no sense economically (assuming it is supposed to benefit artists as a whole).

If you read the comments at URL

http://the1709blog.blogspot.com/2010/12/artist-resale-royalty-harmonisation-and.html

you will see that real people who deal in Australian art agree with Mike that it is damaging simply because fewer people will buy art as an investment (or even agree to market art for artists who choose to have a lifestyle which makes locating them difficult).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What’s amazing is how twisted and stupid your logic is. What’s amazing is how you HATE that artists have ANY RIGHTS. What’s amazing is how you don’t think artists should exercise the rights they have. What’s amazing is how you defend piracy day in and day out, but you think that no one notices that you’re pro-piracy.

Faith based FUD much?

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Nope. It’s a fact that Mike doesn’t want artists to have copyright rights, and he doesn’t support them exercising the copyright rights that they do have. It’s a fact that Mike defends and apologizes for piracy day after day on this blog. All fact, my friend. No FUD needed. The proof is all around you.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nope. It’s a fact that Mike doesn’t want artists to have copyright rights, and he doesn’t support them exercising the copyright rights that they do have.

Basically – yeah. The fact that copyrights are a problem both culturally and economically, and that enforcing them is usually a waste of time and resources for creators, is kind of the main thesis of all copyright coverage on techdirt… Are you really only just figuring that out now? Wow.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I have never heard Mike claim that artists are not allowed to prevent the unauthorized duplication of their work. Please point me to where he says that.

Joe doesn’t seem able to think in a nuanced way, except when it comes to thick legal dockets (and even then, it’s dubious)

I don’t even want to bother trying to explain to him the difference between having a tonne of problems with copyright today and being an actual copyright abolitionist – I doubt he’s interested in understanding. If he wants to believe Mike is a copyright abolitionist, let him – everything’s relative, after all, and relative to Joe’s extreme pro-copyright position we all might as well be abolitionists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh well, when nuances fits you, you claim them, when they don’t you apparently forget how the issues are nuanced and use broad brushes.

Fine you dishonest prick.

Most people have an issue with monopolies, it doesn’t mean people are against one specific set of people but against the laws that enable some at the expense of everybody else.

Artists don’t deserve a monopoly in fact nobody does, now explain why again do we give that to them?

What is in it for society?

You keep defending monopolies, censorship and abuse of the law like that is ok because is for the children or something.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I don’t have a problem with giving someone a limited property right in their works, as indicated in the Constitution. I don’t have a problem with the government “censoring” websites that are devoted to violating people’s rights. And I have never supported anyone abusing the law (which is why I’m against piracy, unlike you I presume). It’s funny how much you guys pretend to care about people’s rights, but when it comes to copyright rights you guys pretend like it’s OK to violate as much as you want. It’s not OK–you’re the sociopath, not me.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Funny. You say that to someone that is posting anonymously but will not say so to those of us that actually contribute to the site, article wise, and know a thing or two about all this.

If there is any abuse of copyright, it comes from those that seek to expand it farther and farther from the Constitutional aspect of a limited right for a limited time. The founders of this country put that clause in place to help spur the growth of a national culture. Now it has been bastardized into a monopoly of the worst sort.

I have no problem with anyone having a limited monopoly on a copyrighted work. I have problems with a perpetual monopoly on those works.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There is almost literally no other industry that gets these “rights”. Not manufacturers, not agriculture, not finance, not service.

The only peop[le who get these kinds of “rights” are Imaginary Property creation companies. It’s insane, stupid and it has to stop.

First off, it makes it much harder for those starting out because, and this may be hard for you, they are exempted from the law due to the amounts involved (accxording to certain, ACs anyway.

Secondly, Why should these so-called artists get to rest on their laurels and blindly profit when, for example, network providers don’t get to profit once they’ve made a succesful network bluieprint? (I was originally goin to go with a car analogy, but those fail in the digital world.)

And thirdly, not a single damned person deserves to be paid. Ever.

Modplan (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If this only applies to artists who are “already super successful,” and if you admit that this “only helps already super successful artists,” then you have just admitted that this will help the very artists it applies to.

This sentence gave me a headache.

And what’s truly amazing is how you pretend that your policy preference is really an economic reality.

Until you can cite anything even remotely approaching a study of economics that disproves Mikes “policy preference” as not being grounded in research and reality, it’s difficult to take the complaints of someone who is promoting his own policy preference solely based on faith and personal attacks against those who disagree seriously. Particularly when you then turn around and say:

Support it? I’ve never heard of it until a few moments ago. And I don’t support it–as I said, sounds stupid to me but I’d have to learn more about it first to form an actual position on the matter.

Which completely undermines your entire rant as being nothing but a knee jerk reaction for the sake of a stupid personal vendetta.

RonKaminsky says:

Re: Think first, post later (if at all)

You should have read the discussion at URL

http://the1709blog.blogspot.com/2010/12/artist-resale-royalty-harmonisation-and.html

before posting. The comments section includes interesting information from various people who make a living from Australian art, about the relatively recently passed Australian version of this (the Australian version is less forceful than the EC one, in that artists can opt-out — although they have to do it on a sale-by-sale basis).

Since you’re a troll and won’t probably bother to read them, let me summarize: Mike is right, you are wrong. How surprising!

Joe says:

Re: Re:

Actually, look at it from the point of view of a buyer. You see art at $500 and after all your costs, it goes over $1000. You lost $50 if they take 5% for example. Now repeat this through several buyers. The artist that was charging $500 will have to drop the price to $300 or less in order to get a buyer. These are ballpark figures but pretty much match what art collectors have to deal with when transferring ownership. THAT’s the reason it’ll hurt most artists. It’s actually very rare for art to gain the astronomical ($10M+) values you see on CNN or the local newspaper.

Anonymous Coward says:

Everything is "art"

If something like this passes, expect within 20 years that it will be modified to include nearly everything created and will be stripped of almost all restrictions related to value or terms.

The various lobbying groups will claim “if you are thinking of the painter, why not the fashion designer, the graphic’s artist, etc, etc?”

– Videogame companies, who have been complaining about the used game market would absolutely love this.

– Ditto for nearly every other consumable media.

– What about companies like Apple? Many people consider their products works of art. I’m sure they would like a cut of used computer sales.

– The auto industry would easily jump on board. They would rake in billions if they got 5% of every used car sold.

Horrible law for the general public and society in general, great law for those who have money.

V says:

It's Win-Win

I love this idea! Artists get a cut of the resale profits, since that’s FAIR.

Along with this is a “buyers right”. So that, if I buy a piece of artwork and it DOESN’T go up in value and I CAN’T resale it… then I get to charge the original artist for lost profits on an estimated sale.

I mean, after all… that’s FAIR. Why should I get socked with a lame duck artist when other people bought art from an artist who became famous!

That’s ridiculous! I need my FAIR share too!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Maybe a fix

It shouldn’t be a tax or a law or anything like that. As someone said above, if an artist feels s/he MUST have this cut of resale (which, as an artist that has sold AND bought single works, is ludicrous and overly complicated), it can be handled via private contract with the buyer. Legislating it WILL harm artists since it takes that decision out of their hands.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Maybe a fix

it can be handled via private contract with the buyer

This is SUCH an important point. So many of the detractors here seem to think that if you oppose copyright, you oppose artists ever exercising any control over their work. But that’s bullshit.

The issue is all the automatic control that is thrust on creators, and the chilling effect it creates by locking the whole industry in an ersatz framework of regulations and royalties and mechanical licenses. Copyright law doesn’t empower artists – in fact it LIMITS how they can manage their own rights by taking away all sorts of choices.

In a world without copyright, it would be all about contracts – and that would be a good thing. There would be standard agreements that get used a lot, and also all sorts of unique and creative agreements that are tailored to a given circumstance. And of course those who wish to leave their work in the public domain (yes, leave it there, since PD would once again become the default status of a creative work, as it should be) would be free to do so without having to jump through hoops or settle for a less-than-perfect license like CC0.

Transbot9 (profile) says:

Resale rights are a terrible, TERRIBLE idea

The only artists that would be for this would be idiots – and probably the type of artist that I end up in fights with: those that are clueless and threatened by digital mediums. Heck, because I choose to work in a digital medium, this type of artist believes that I am not actually an artist.

Such laws are stupidly uninforcible. They do not help content creators/starving artists/etc. It may help a collections company fatten their bottom line – if they can find out about the sale of such art.

Anonymous Coward says:

The idea isn’t to help starving artists but rather to further remove the second-hand industry. A task the ‘IAAs have been working on for some time now.

On a separate note, painters who want to hold onto sales rights can always keep the original piece and stick to selling prints. A system which has been working since prints first became feasible.

Random Artist says:

Hmmm… 10,000 dollars? Really? How much did I make on my last painting…. 700$ My last job making a mural for a store: 1500$… I honestly don’t believe I will ever make 10,000 dollars on a piece of art and I rarely see artwork by my peers reaching above 3000$ Whoever thought that 10,000 dollars should be a benchmark for this is completely out of touch with how much most artists make.

Right now I would love to get a percent of every resale of my art, if I was selling it for 10,000 dollars a pop I wouldn’t need this law, I would still hold the copyright for the artwork and would make money of for the sale of prints, like most artists do.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Stick To Logic

I’m not sure how it would harm young artists with the $10,000 cut off.

Version 1: Artist offers painting for $500. Buyer thinks it will one day be worth $10,000, when he will sell it. Buyer stands to make $9,500 – so he decides to buy.

Version 2: Artist offers painting for $500. Buyer thinks it will one day be worth $10,000, when he will sell it and pay 7% back to the original artist. Buyer now only stands to make $8,800. Will he still decide to buy?

Maybe not. The value of the investments in small artists’ work has gone down. And basic economics shows that it is inevitable that will lead to less investment in small artists’ work.

Lowell Stephens (user link) says:

The motivation

Art exist within a vessel in time, and that vessel includes the price in which it is sold. This idea does not only hinder and prevent new artist from becoming exposed, but totally undermines the vey idea of why I at least personally create.

Also to the buyer, if a person buys a peice of work he or she should not be responsable for the constant payment to the artist, that undermines the idea of the gift.

Politicians should spend their energy focusing on more important problems, and leave the current model alone. It doesn’t surprise me however that this will only greatly benefit those artist that are already making upwards of 10,000 a sale, for as we all passively know, that’s who they work for.

Bad idea.

Kate Vrijmoet (profile) says:

You're right everybody...

And while we’re at it, we should stop giving actors, writers and musicians royalties. Let the corporations keep the profits. Why should the artist make any money off their work or their ideas. I mean, really! Who are they to even copyright their work. It belongs to all of us. They’re just the slaves of society. Especially the .04% artists who actually make a living at this, they’re already making money, can’t they just be happy with that? I know a person who lives off the royalties of her grandfather’s musical. What a sham! How can these lowlifes think they should be able to support their families with their work for generations?

(read S A R C A S M)

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