Droit de suite back on the agenda

The US Congress is revisiting a long-stalled proposal to bring droit de suite, or artist’s resale royalty, to the US. The senators Tammy Baldwin and Ed Markey and the representative Jerrold Nadler introduced the American Royalties Too (ART) Act of 2015 in April. The bill would give artists a 5% royalty (up to $35,000) on works sold at auction for $5,000 or more. A similar proposal attracted more than a dozen co-sponsors last year but prompted opposition from auction houses and failed to pass before the end of the Congressional session. Advocates of the legislation say that the odds are better this time around because other government agencies have come to support the reform. “After two decades resisting the idea, the US Copyright Office reversed itself a year-and-a-half ago with a report generally favouring the resale royalty regime,” says Theodore Feder, the president of the Artists Rights Society.