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Australia joins NZ in advancing resale royalty

6 October 2008 Media Statement
Australia joins NZ in advancing artist resale royalty

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard has today welcomed Australia’s announcement that it will introduce a resale royalty scheme to Parliament that will benefit visual artists, an initiative already taken in New Zealand.

The Australian Federal Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Hon Peter Garrett has just announced further details of the Government’s intention to introduce a resale royalty scheme for visual artists similar to the New Zealand Copyright (Artists’ Resale Right) Amendment Bill.

New Zealand’s Bill to establish a royalty payment scheme for artworks resold on the secondary art market was introduced in May 2008 and referred to the Government Administration Select Committee.

“A resale royalty scheme provides artists with fair compensation for their works. Similar systems operate in a number of countries overseas, including most of Europe and in the United Kingdom,” said Judith Tizard.

“The proposed Australian Bill represents international efforts to recognise, protect and respect the work of artists by creating a resale environment in which artists benefit from the market value of their works."

The benefit of the resale royalty schemes being legislated in both Australia and New Zealand will mean suitable reciprocal arrangements can be accommodated when artists’ works are sold overseas.

As in New Zealand, the proposed Australian scheme would have one collection agency to monitor and enforce the right. Other similarities include:

• artists and art market professionals cannot contract out of the scheme which particularly protects emerging artists;
• it applies to a wide range of original artistic works, such as paintings, limited edition prints, ceramics, glassware and photographs;
• it applies to works resold during the artist’s lifetime and for up to 70 years after the artist’s death (in NZ, the duration of copyright on artistic works is up to 50 years after the artist’s death);
• it applies a flat 5% royalty rate;
• there is joint and several liability for royalty payment between the seller and the art market professional; and
• there is the potential for international reciprocity.


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