DACS recovers over £1 million in unpaid resale royalties

    Visual artists and estates celebrate over £1 million in unpaid royalties recovered by DACS.

    The unfair impact of undeclared sales

    The Artist's Resale Right (ARR) was introduced in the UK on 13 February 2006, after years of campaigning by artists, the arts community and DACS. The right entitles artists and their estates to a modest royalty whenever their work is resold by an art market professional such as an auction house, dealer or gallery for €1,000 or more.
    Since 2006, almost 5,000 artists and artists’ estates have been paid over £65 million in resale royalties by DACS, making it one of the most significant sources of funding for visual artists’ today.
    While most auction houses, dealers and galleries comply with ARR regulations, a small percent fail to declare relevant sales, and in doing so, withhold resale right royalties from artists and estates. Not only does this put other art market professionals who comply with the regulations at a competitive disadvantage, but it also disadvantages artists and their estates by holding back crucial income that is relied upon for rent, materials, living expenses or services such as authenticating and conserving works.

    DACS’ campaign to recover unpaid royalties

    DACS began a campaign in 2015 that sought to proactively educate art market professionals about their obligations under ARR, and address the issue of the small percentage who had not been declaring sales.
    The campaign has been a huge success, reaching £1 million in just under three years and has helped in the work towards ensuring that all artists and estates receive the full resale right royalties owed them.
    ARR royalty payments, even modest amounts, can be of significant benefit to artists and estates, helping with studio, insurance and storage costs or services such as authenticating and conserving works, which is of great benefit to the art market.

    DACS’ Chief Executive, Gilane Tawadros, said:

    “Through the diligence and commitment of the DACS team, we are ensuring that artists and artists’ estates receive the royalties which are due to them. It is vitally important that there is a fair and level playing field in the art market for both artists and estates as well as for all the auction houses and galleries who conscientiously adhere to the law and pay the royalty due to artists and estates.”

    Facts and figures

    Almost 600 artists and estates benefit from a total of £1.1 million in recovered resale royalties through DACS’ campaign.

    Total royalty payments made to an artist or estate ranged from £30 to £98,000. Meanwhile, the average royalty payment was £1,923.
    Recovered royalties relate to almost 2,000 artworks worth £52 million in total sales.
    Sir Peter Blake said:

    “The Artist’s Resale Right provides recognition of my early works which I created in the days when I was so broke. It is reassuring that DACS works diligently to collect royalties for previously unreported sales, ensuring artists at the beginning of their careers and those that depend on this income are benefitting fully from this important right. Artists and their estates rely greatly on a level of financial stability to continue their work.”

    Anthony Frost, Estate of Terry Frost said:

    “Looking after my dad’s artworks and being an artist myself, you don’t always know where your work ends up. DACS helps to keep track of artworks sold and ensure we get the royalties due. Every amount of Artist’s Resale Royalties helps to protect my dad’s legacy and the work we do in managing the interest in his life and work.”

     The campaign continues…

    DACS is committed to ensuring that artists and estates receive the resale right royalties that they are due.
    What to do if you think you are owed royalties?
    If you are a DACS member and you believe that you may be due ARR royalties, contact us.

    Read our press release
    Read our Artist’s Resale Right case studies
    Read our Artist’s Resale Right FAQs
    Find out more about ARR for artists and estates 

    Image: Anthony Frost, Estate of Terry Frost, photographed by Brian Benson for DACS. Photograph © Brian Benson, 2017. www.bbphoto.me.

    Posted on 20/02/2018 by Laura Ward-Ure