We've never quite understood the reasoning employed in a few different countries to allow artists to get paid every time their artwork is sold. The given
reason is usually that if the artwork becomes valuable at a later date, the artist should get a piece of that, but that doesn't make much sense. Once the artist becomes famous than all of his or her new works will also command a much higher premium. All such a "resale right" does is make it that much more expensive to buy and sell art, since you now have to pay a fraction of every transaction back to the artist. This actually harms
the artists, because it makes people less willing to buy and sell their artwork. It basically punishes those who actually believe in an artist and buy their early works. It's been shown that such a resale right harms up-and-coming artists (it makes it more expensive to buy their works), and really only tends to help the super successful artists (i.e., those who are already earning plenty from their artwork).
Lawrence D'Oliveiro alerts us to the good news that New Zealand has decided to scrap such a plan
. There's not a full explanation for why the plan was scrapped, but it has economically ignorant artists complaining that it's just not fair and it means New Zealand "doesn't value its artists." Hopefully someone will explain to them that making it more expensive for their artwork to be sold means that they'll be selling a lot less artwork -- and that doesn't seem very "valuable" at all.