Many California artists are unaware that they are entitled to royalties when their work is resold. The ones who do won’t pursue their rights for fear of “rocking the boat”. This attitude allows collectors to take advantage of artists. The law was put into place to allow artists to make money from their hard work the same way musicians and actors do. The unwillingness of collectors to pay up perpetuates the art world’s shady business reputation practices. I for one, applaud Mark Grotjahn for being brave enough to take on this fight. He is doing it for all artists, not just himself.
California’s Resale Royalty Act states:
Under California Civil Code Section 986, an artist shall be entitled to a royalty upon the resale of his/her work of art provided that:
- The artist at the time of the sale is a United States citizen or has been a California resident for at least two years.
- The seller resides in California or the sale takes place in California.
- The work is an original painting, drawing, sculpture or original work of art in glass.
- The work is sold by the seller for more money than she or he paid.
- The work is sold for a gross price of more than $1,000 or is exchanged for one or more works of art or for a combination of cash, other property, and one or more works of fine art with a fair market value of more than $1,000.
- The work is sold during the artist’s lifetime or within 20 years of the artist’s death.
Good luck Mark. The artists of California are behind you.