The Australian Government is committed to ensuring the sustainability and vitality of Australia’s visual arts and craft sector. As a direct result of this commitment, the Government commissioned Mr Rupert Myer to conduct the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry. The Report of the Inquiry⎯known as the Myer Report⎯was released in September 2002.
One of the recommendations of the Myer Report was that the Government introduce a resale royalty arrangement. A resale royalty, also called a droit de suite, entitles the artist to a royalty payment when a work of art he or she has created is resold. The Myer Report examined several issues in his discussion of the resale royalty right. These included consideration of the object of the right, the magnitude of royalties likely to be collected, the efficiency of resale royalty schemes, the distribution effects arising from resale royalties and the possible impact of the right on the Australian art market. The Government has been examining the issue of resale royalty closely since the release of the Report. This includes conducting research into recent international developments and analysing the likely impact of a resale royalty scheme on Australian artists and the market for contemporary art. This paper presents that research and is intended to stimulate broad discussion about whether it would be desirable to introduce some form of resale royalty arrangement in Australia. It outlines three possible models for an Australian resale royalty scheme and presents information on the possible impact of a resale royalty on Australia’s visual artists. The discussion paper has been prepared by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. It draws on the work of many researchers and writers.