The resale right petition is an initiative from EVA – European Visual Artists, the European umbrella of visual arts copyright organisations CISAC and GESAC, that protect the fundamental right of authors of graphic and plastic arts for a small percentage of the resale price that art market professionals pay to them at each resale of their works whether in auction or a gallery.

Artists’ resale right was born in France in 1920, harmonised in Europe by the Directive of 27 September 2001 and provided internationally by Article 14 of the Berne Convention at the Brussels (BRU) International Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), but is non-binding. The right is now recognised by 65 states, including members of the European Union and alsoAustralia, Brazil, Russia, Mexico,Tunisia and Senegal.

According to the initiators of the Resale right petition, in a global world the protection of artists should be the same in different places of the art market, be it London, Paris, New York or Hong Kong.  Thus, authors of fine arts from five continents – and not just those of Western countries – must be able to benefit from the wealth generated by the sales of their creations. And the first ones being concerned are the artists from emerging countries whose works are purchased at low prices and then resold with significant gains on the art markets of Western countries.

To achieve this equality between the authors around the world they believe that Resale right must become, under the auspices of WIPO, a global right. 

Chris Biddlecombe, Scottish Artists Union and European Council of Artists says: “As an artist much of my work is developed through collaborations with other creative makers. I also spend much time working to ensure that other artists have secure and safe working conditions, supportive contracts and fair remuneration for their work. I consider artists resale royalties to be part of these basic rights, not just an ‘add on’ in certain circumstances. Let us remember, when an art work is sold we do not just buy the physical object, we are also making a connection with the original creative maker. If it is acknowledged that a healthy artistic community creates significant economic and social benefits to a nation, it is vital that artists are properly and regularly paid back through that creative economy. This is not just for artists in a particular city or country, this can only be fairly and effectively administered as an international artist’s right”.

To learn more and sign the online resale right petition at October 2013