DACS reaches £80m milestone in Artist's Resale Right royalties

    Since 2006 DACS has distributed £80 million in Resale Royalties to visual artists.

    The Artist’s Resale Right is a UK law that allows artists to earn a royalty when their works sell on the secondary art market via an auction house, gallery or art dealer. This essential royalty helps support funding for visual arts while contributing to the creative economy.
    The UK’s art market is growing. It is valued at 10% of the UK’s creative industries, which are currently worth £101.5bn. Resale Right royalties allow artists to continue making work and feed into this thriving market.
    The Resale Right benefits artists at all stages in their career. In fact, each year over 50% of artists’ works that generate resale royalties are sold exclusively under £5,000.

    Supporting up and coming talent

    DACS has come a long way from the early years of Artist’s Resale Right. Not only have we paid out £80m in royalties but in 2018, we made the highest annual payment yet, of £10.5m.
    The Resale Right is an important part of the UK’s cultural backbone and it will continue to support a range of artists, especially those getting their big career break now. In 2018, over 300 artists or their heirs received royalties for the first time.

    "Resale Right royalties are a valuable investment in the life blood of the UK’s art market at a time when public funding cuts are significantly reducing artists’ incomes.” - Artist, Stuart Semple.

    "For me, its about respect and recognition as much as money." - Artist, Susan Stockwell.

    Protecting culture

    When it first became a law in 2006 only living artists benefitted from this royalty. In 2012, the law was extended so that artist’s heirs could benefit from the right too.
    For heirs, royalty payments fund laborious yet essential tasks such as authenticating works, providing provenance information, and compiling catalogues raisonnés. These tasks have social and cultural benefits, from supporting curators, preventing fakes from entering the market and maintaining archives.

    “[The Artist's Resale Right] helps with the catalogue raisonné, with research and with all the overheads." - The Estate of John Hoyland.
    The Resale Right helps to keep art accessible to existing audiences and discoverable to new ones.


    As we look to the future we’re excited to announce the launch of DACS’ campaign, Fair Share for Artists. Launching on 26 June – coinciding with British IP day – Fair Share for Artists will celebrate the important impact of ARR in artists lives and look to secure it at this vital juncture.

    About DACS

    Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation.

    Passionate about transforming the financial landscape for visual artists through innovative new products and services, we act as a trusted broker for 100,000 artists worldwide.
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    Image: Work No. 265, 2001, Martin Creed.565 © Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019.

    Posted on 24/06/2019 by Laura Ward-Ure