The Resale Royalty Scheme will see international royalties flow to Australian artists for the first time

March 27, 2024


Copyright Agency is delighted that the Government’s extension of the artists’ Resale Royalty Scheme will provide opportunities for Australian artists to receive royalties from resales of their artworks in other countries. The reciprocity launch on 31 March 2024 comes amid growing popularity of Aboriginal art worldwide, particularly in Europe, and we’re excited to see the potential for more First Nations artists to benefit from this extension of the scheme.

Under the Government’s changes the Resale Royalty Scheme is being expanded to include 17 countries, including the UK and many European territories. Australian artists will receive royalty payments for their eligible artworks resold in these countries. The USA is not included in this list, as they do not have their own resale royalty scheme, which is a requirement for an international reciprocity agreement.

Since it began in 2010, the scheme has generated more than $14m from resales in Australia for Australian artists for more than 2,700 artists, from 31,900 resales. Most royalties are between $50 and $500. Most artists have received one or two payments, but some have received multiple payments.

65% of the artists receiving royalties are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists and they have received 40% of the total royalties. Of the 50 artists who have received the most money under the scheme, 18 are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Most artists are overwhelmingly supportive of the scheme, and value the resale royalties received.

“Intellectual property and copyright is so important for artists, and the resale royalty scheme is an important way for us to sustain our practices in the long term. I think this is a great initiative, and allows artists as primary producers to share in the ongoing success of works on the secondary market. “ – Abdul Abdullah.

“The Resale Royalty Scheme recognises the ongoing effort it takes for artists to maintain a creative practice. Artworks take on a life of their own after they leave the studio, and so I think the scheme is wonderful because it ensures artists benefit from that growth as well…it’s so important that artists exercise their copyright in their work, just like other creative industries.“ – Laura Jones

“It’s important not only as an additional source of financial support to artists but also acknowledges the person who made the work in the first place.” – Wendy Sharpe

Appointed by the Government to collect royalties and pay them to the artists, Copyright Agency deducts 15% to cover the costs of the administering the scheme. Copyright Agency reports regularly to the Office for the Arts on the operation of the scheme, in accordance with its contract of appointment; and provides detailed information in our annual reports to the Government, which are available here.

Find out more information on the Resale Royalty Scheme website here. Read about resale royalty international reciprocity here.