Born in France in 1920, included in the Article 14ter of the Berne Convention at the International Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1971 and, harmonized in Europe by the Directive in 2001. The Artist’s Resale Right turned 100 on the 18th May 2020.
Even though the current COVID 19 crisis has unfortunately led to the postponement of all planned celebrations for this important event, we should still use this opportunity to remember why ARR is important.
These recent years have seen important developments regarding ARR, for example in Senegal where 103 visual artists became the first to receive the royalty since 1972. (see more) Or in Chile and Argentina where considerable progress was made towards the adoption of the right.
However, there is still much to be done. Especially since this right has still not been adopted in countries which constitute some of the world’s biggest art markets ; USA, Japan and China, to mention but a few. In reaction to this situation, several creators’ organisations are actively advocating for the right for example, in the USA where, ARS an American collective rights management society launched a petition on its website to push for the adoption of ARR in America.
Moreover, with the ongoing crisis, there has been an increased number of relocated art sales from countries exercising ARR to online auctions in those which do not recognise the right. Something which artists could do without, especially at such a critical time where any source of revenue would be more than welcome.
We should celebrate the fact that we have made it this far, but we should also keep pushing further, in any way that we can, until a binding resale right treaty is adopted on an international level.