Resale Royalties Generate $2.4 million to Visual Artists

November 28, 2014

By the end of June 2014, the Resale Royalty Scheme  had generated 2.4 million dollars from more than 8,900 resales, benefiting more than 910 artists.

Artists receiving royalties distributed through the scheme grew in 2013-14 by more than 30 per cent when compared with the previous year.

The artists receiving resale royalties are diverse and spread across all stages of their careers; from emerging to senior – remote to urban – with the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists high.

Since the scheme’s commencement in mid-2010, 66 per cent of the artists to receive royalties are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  Over 65 per cent of these artists live in the Northern Territory, while another 18 per cent reside in central Australia, either in South Australia or Western Australia. Of the 50 artists who have received the most money under the scheme, 26 are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

The Resale Royalty Scheme generates a royalty of 5% to an artist when their work is resold, if it’s  valued at more than $1000.  In mid 2010, The Australian government appointed the Copyright Agency to manage the scheme on their behalf.

In June 2013, the Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts commenced a review of the scheme. The review process included stakeholder meetings where Government officials met with artists and art market professionals. A discussion paper was published and submissions from interested parties were invited.

More than 75 submissions were received by the Ministry for the Arts from art galleries, dealers, art centre managers, artists and organisations such as Arts Law, Australia Council and others. The submission from the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) contained responses from 415 artists and an associated petition contained signatures from more than 3,600 artists who overwhelmingly supported the continuation of the scheme.

A report reviewing the resale royalty scheme is being finalised.  An announcement is expected to be made in the coming months.

Mandy Martin at work on An Ill Wind in her Sydney studio. Photography by Greg Weight.

Mandy Martin at work on An Ill Wind in her Sydney studio. Photography by Greg Weight.