What is the Fair Share for Artists campaign and who runs it?

The Fair Share for Artists campaign communicates how Artist’s Resale Right royalties are an essential source of income for artists and must be protected.

The campaign is run by DACS, a not-for-profit organisation that manages artist’s rights including copyright and Artist’s Resale Right. Find out more about DACS here.

What is Artist’s Resale Right?

The Artist’s Resale Right is a law that gives artists a royalty payment when their artworks is sold by a gallerist, art dealer or auction house. It only applies to resales of an artwork, and not when the artwork is sold for the first time.

How does it work?

When an artwork is sold for the second time over the sale price of €1000, a royalty is due back to the artist or their heir. The artwork must be sold by an art dealer, auction house or gallery – it doesn’t apply on private sales. The amount of royalty is calculated as a proportion of the sale price.

DACS collects and distributes Artist’s Resale Right royalties. Our specialist tools help art dealers, galleries and auction houses work out who is due a royalty and how much. Since Artist’s Resale Right became law in 2006, DACS has distributed £80 million to artists and their estates!

Who is eligible for Artist’s Resale Right royalties?

Living artists and artists’ estates are both eligible for Artist’s Resale Right royalties, as the protection lasts for 70 years after the artist’s death. Artists’ heirs find royalty payments crucial in helping them maintain, store and preserve the artworks in their care.

DACS can collect and distribute Artist’s Resale Right royalties on behalf of artists who are nationals of countries is the European Economic Area (EEA).

The following countries are in the EEA:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

What does “artists’ estate” mean?

An artist can leave their work and copyright to whomever they wish when they die. Often family members (sometimes referred to as heirs) inherit works and copyright, but it can also be friends or organisations like a foundation or charity.

If you inherit an artist’s copyright, you are in charge of how their works are used and reproduced. You become the guardian of their memory and legacy.

Looking after an artist’s work and maintaining their cultural legacy can be a challenging responsibility: from storing works and insuring them, to cataloguing, archiving and compiling the artist’s catalogue raisonné. Artists’ estates do valuable work making artistic works accessible for future generations.

We know from our work with artist’s estates that royalties provide essential income that go towards the management of the artist’s cultural impact and estate.

I think I’m due a royalty. What should I do?

If you are an artist, or an artist’s heir, or estate whose artworks have sold on for the second time above €1000, get in touch with DACS at membership@dacs.org.uk

Where can I find out more?

If you want any more information on the Artist’s Resale Right, DACS has it covered. Read DACS’ FAQs here.

Where does your information come from?

We’ve used a variety of publicly available sources to compile information on this site. We’ve also used our own data on the Artist’s Resale Right royalties we pay artists and estates. Here is a breakdown of the publicly available data we’ve used:

  • DACS’ Annual Review for 2017 can be found here
  • DACS’ news story on reaching our amazing milestone of paying artists over £80 million since Artist’s Resale Right became law can be found here
  • Artist’s earning £5,000:  The Art Newspaper, 30 November 2017, can be found here
  • Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts data can be found here
  • Value of creative economy (£101.5 billion) reported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, accessible here
  • Value and global position of the UK’s art market from the UBS/Art Basel Art Market Report 2019, Dr Clare McAndrew (US$ converted to UK£), accessible here



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