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Canadian artists may soon receive royalties when their work is resold

Canadian artists may soon receive royalties when their work is resold
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is pictured in 2017. Photo courtesy of Thomas Ledl / Wikimedia

August 13 (UPI) – Canadian politicians are drafting legislation that would amend the country’s copyright law to grant copyrights to artists when their work is resold.

Innovation Minister Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne and Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez are drafting an amendment to the Copyright Act that would give artists a “right of resale,” The Art Newspaper reported.

“Our government is currently working on potential amendments to the Copyright Act to further protect artists, creators and copyright holders,” Champagne spokeswoman Laurie Bouchard told the Globe and Mail.

“Resale rights for artists are really an important step towards improving economic conditions for artists in Canada.”

The Canadian Artists Representation, a nonprofit organization that supports visual artists that has proposed such reforms, said Friday in a statement that it is pleased that the artist’s right to resale is “gaining momentum within the federal government.”

“ARR is a royalty that allows artists to share the wealth they create,” said April Britski, CARFAC’s national executive director in the statement.

“It’s especially beneficial to indigenous and senior artists, aligns Canada with many of our international business partners, and is one of the many ways the federal government can help visual artists recover from the pandemic and thrive for years to come.”

In an April presentation, CARFAC proposed that 5% of all eligible secondary sales of artwork sold for at least $ 1,000 should be reimbursed to the artist, noting that “this is a copyright royalty, not a fee”.

“It would not be raised by the government or spent by the government,” the proposal reads. “Furthermore, the government would not be involved in the collection, distribution or monitoring of the payment of royalties.”

The organization noted that more than 90 countries including Australia, Great Britain, Mexico and all European Union members have similar royalties for the resale of work.

Art news website Hyperallergic noted that attempts to pass similar acts in the United States have failed, including the American Royalties Too Act proposed by Democratic lawmakers in 2014.

The Art Dealers Association of Canada said royalties would create a bureaucratic burden for small galleries, The Art Newspaper reported, and could raise the price of art and reduce sales.

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