Journal Article

Implementing the artist's resale right directive

Charles Lewis

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 2, issue 5, pages 298-304
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
Implementing the artist's resale right directive

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Legal context

Directive 2001/84/EC, on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art, introduced the harmonisation of artist's resale right within the EU (and subsequently within the EEA). Resale right already existed in many EU States, but the Directive also required its creation in others (such as the UK) to which it was previously unknown. The implementation of the Directive in the UK was accordingly a matter of some controversy.

Key points

This article concentrates on the legal difficulties involved in that implementation, viewed against the background of the UK Government's stated general policy on the transposition of EU Directives. From several points of view, the rules laid down in the Directive called for elaboration or clarification, and in a number of cases such an approach was appropriate. In other cases, however, this turned out not to be appropriate.

Practical significance

As a result, although in the main it was possible to transpose the Directive into a clear and workable set of domestic rules, a number of issues had to remain unresolved. Among the most important were: whether works of ‘applied art’ should attract resale right, and the territorial scope of the transactions covered by the right.

Keywords: The artist's resale royalty right is now a juridical reality in the European Union, following implementation of Directive 2001/84/EC.; From the point at which the Directive was passed, attention turned from the issues of principle involving the desirability or otherwise of remunerating artists in respect of subsequent sales of their original works, towards the details relating to the manner in which the Directive should be implemented.; This article focuses on a number of extremely important issues that will in many cases be determinative of an artist's entitlement, but which by their very nature lie beneath the level of explicit Community legislation, reflecting on the UK Government's approach towards the resolution of problems arising from them.

Journal Article.  5672 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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