Copyright relating to original artwork is a valuable asset in an artist's estate. You can derive income from it for a specific period of time after the death of an artist.
For artists who die today, the copyright in original artistic works currently lasts for 70 years from the death of the creator.
Consequently copyright continues after an artist's death and becomes an asset of his or her Estate. The same applies to Artists' Resale Rights in some countries where this right is applicable.
Every country can potentially have different rules. Below I've focused on the rules relating to the UK and I aim to add in other geographic areas in time.
Return to THE ART LEGACY
A GUIDE TO THE TIME AFTER DEATH - COVERED BY COPYRIGHT (in the UK)
Below is a quick guide to the length of time copyright applies to the original work created by an artist
Works made by UK artists who:
See also the section on this website relating to
COPYRIGHT FOR ARTISTS
Authors of original works of art are entitled to a royalty each time one of their works is resold through an art market professional.
The Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) entitles creators (‘authors’) of original works of art (including paintings, engravings, sculpture and ceramics) to a royalty each time one of their works is resold through an auction house or art market professional.
ARTISTS' ROYALTIES AND RESALE RIGHTS - IN THE UK
The Artist’s Resale Right is the same as copyright and lasts for as long as copyright, which is your lifetime plus 70 years.
Artists can choose to leave the resale right for specific or all original artwork retained by the estate to a beneficiary or heir of the estate.
However the right can only be left to a natural person or a charity. The studio cat does not get a look in!
Royalty due on Resale price
Royalties are only applicable for works sold with a value above £1,000 where the transaction is executed at auction or by an art gallery.
Sales between private individuals, without the use of an art market professional, or to public, non-profit making museums do not attract royalty payments.
The rates are as follows
Design and Artists Copyright Service (UK) aka DACS
The DACs Payback Scheme automatically collects and distributes any royalties and resale rights owed to an Artist's Estate - for onward distribution by Executors to beneficiaries and heirs.
The Artists Collecting Society
The ACS can take on the entire administration of tracing sales and pursuing fees owed to the estate and collecting of artist resale rights and licensing fees.
Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: Institute of Art & Law;
2nd Revised edition (29 Aug. 2012)
BUY THIS BOOK
Artist's Resale Right: A Guide to Law and Practice from Amazon UK
If you've got any suggestions for what you'd like to see on this website please send me your suggestion
1) Content and the law change all the time. It's impossible to keep up with it if you're not working on the topic full time.
2) I research topics carefully. However, I am totally unable to warrant that ANY and/or ALL information is
3) Hence all information I provide comes without any LIABILITY whatsoever to you for any choices you make.
4) This website is FREE FOR YOU but not for me. Links to books are Amazon Affiliate links. Buying a book via this website means I get a very small payment which helps to fund and maintain this website. .I much appreciate any support your provide. Adverts are provided by Google AdSense - but the adverts do not mean I endorse the advertiser.