Visual artists have waited a long time for the introduction in Australia of a resale royalty right, a right to share in the proceeds of the commercial resale of their artwork. The right appears in the main international copyright treaty (the Berne Convention) but according to its terms, protection is optional rather than mandatory and is claimable only on the basis of reciprocity. Serious consideration of the right in Australia dates back to the late 1980s when a study was commissioned by the Australia Council and the Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories. Interest in its application to Indigenous artists was signalled in Terri Janke’s 1998 Our Culture: Our Future report and its introduction was recommended in the 2002 Myer Report. The Labor Government has delivered on its election promise by guiding the Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 through parliament. Concerns about its potential retrospective operation have had a significant effect on the legislative framework. The scheme is set for implementation in mid 2010. This paper examines whether the final form of the legislation is what its proponents hoped for and whether the new scheme is likely to work.
|Keywords:||Resale Royalty Right, Visual Artist, Copyright|
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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