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Artists’ rights worldwide, please

ARTISTS met in Geneva on the fringes of a WIPO meeting to demand that the "droit de suite" - the right of artists to be paid a percentage of the price for which their work is re-sold - be implemented worldwide.

The artists stand up for their rights © Mike Holderness
The artists stand up for their rights

Among the speakers was Brazilian artist Roberto Cabot, who spoke of not knowing where his works had gone - unless perhaps he got a call from a museum. Because his works exist in only one copy - and part of their cash value is down to that - the "resale right" is essential to making a living - and leaving something. "My art is all I have to leave my children. Why should the children of someone who bought my work as a financial speculation benefit, but not my children?"

The "droit de suite"was introduced in France in 1920; it made it into European law in 2001, but the UK government procrastinated over fully implementing a 3 per cent levy for the author on saleroom prices until 1 January 2012. It now exists in all EU member states and 69 other countries: but not in the US, Canada, China - or Brazil.

Last modified: 16 Dec 2013 - © 2014 contributors
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