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Artists celebrate Government announcement to protect artists’ rights in UK law

Pogus Ceaser in studio

DACS joins artists in celebrating that the Government has confirmed that the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) remains protected in the UK.

Last week, ahead of the announcement, the Government tabled an amendment to the Retained EU Laws (REUL) Bill with a list of laws to be revoked at the end of 2023. The list did not include the effective Artist’s Resale Right legislation, confirming it will be retained in UK law.

We are pleased that the Government has again highlighted the importance of the Artist Resale Right for visual artists in the UK. Retaining the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) is essential to ensuring the UK's competitiveness. It sends a clear message to UK artists and artists around the world that their talent and contributions to the creative industries are valued and their rights must be protected. The UK art market is the second largest one in the world and artists are at the heart of its success story.

Christian Zimmermann

ARR was introduced in the UK in 2006 following an EU law which meant it was at risk under the remit of the proposed REUL Bill. DACS has actively campaigned for ARR to be preserved in UK law as an essential source of income for visual artists and their heirs. The right plays a significant role in the art world eco-system, through which galleries, auction houses and art dealers as well as collectors contribute directly to artists and their ongoing practice at every stage of their careers. It has been a huge success; since its introduction DACS has paid £120 million in ARR royalties to artists and their heirs.

The importance of the right was already confirmed by the UK government when negotiating new free trade agreements with countries, including Australia and New Zealand. ARR is increasingly being adopted internationally, with Mexico being the latest country to introduce the law in March 2023. The confirmation that ARR remains in UK legislation, enables UK artists to receive royalties from more countries around the world as well as providing for a right in the UK for international artists at the same time.

The Artist’s Resale Right ensures that artists have a fair and ongoing concern in the value of their work, regardless of the precarities of the market. Protecting the right today and for future generations of artists is imperative.

Louise Giovanelli
Artist and DACS Member

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