Over $1 million in royalties has been returned to Australian artists thanks to the Australian Government’s resale royalty scheme, administered by the Copyright Agency.

The scheme provides artists with a five per cent royalty payment from eligible resales oftheir artwork and is an important source of additional income for many practising artists.

Copyright Agency CEO Jim Alexander said achieving the important milestone of $1 million in resale royalties, in just over two years since the scheme commenced, demonstrates its significant support for Australian artists.

Since July 2010, the scheme has generated over 5000 resales benefiting over 500 artists. Nearly 90 per cent of royalty payments have been made to living artists.

“The resale royalty scheme is achieving what it set out to do – sharing the rewards of Australia’s art market with the creators who help make it so successful,” Mr Alexander said.

“This milestone could only have been achieved with the cooperation of art market professionals who continue to work with us to ensure Australia’s artists receive the benefits they deserve from the resale of their work.”

The scheme is providing other benefits to the arts and broader community through a growing trend for artists and beneficiaries to use royalty payments to support philanthropic
initiatives.

Mrs Lynne Clarke, daughter and beneficiary of Australian artist Russel Drysdale, plans to donate her royalty payments to the Rowan Nicks Russell Drysdale Fellowship which supports people working in Indigenous health and welfare.

Mrs Clarke said she felt the donation was a good way of using royalties from the sale of her father’s paintings to help the Aboriginal communities that inspired so much of his work.

“I like the idea that, if there are royalty payments from the resale of an artwork, it can go towards helping the artist or, as in my case, giving back to the community,” Mrs Clarke said.

Art market professionals and artists can find out more about the scheme at www.resaleroyalty.org.au