Planned Reform of Copyright Law | The artist will receive royalties if one of his works is resold

(Ottawa) An artist can receive royalties if one of his works is resold, according to a planned overhaul of Copyright Law.

Posted on August 6

Mary Wolf
Canadian Press

Painters, sculptors, and other creators of the visual arts will be paid if a work is sold at auction or by an art gallery.

Copyright law reform is currently being prepared by the Minister of Innovation, François-Philippe Champagne, and fellow heritage specialist, Pablo Rodriguez. It states that artists, sculptors and photographers would receive a “resale right” that would give them royalties of 5% during the period covered by the copyright, according to Mr. Champagne’s firm.

Nowadays, artists deplore the fact that not a penny is received if a work whose value may have increased significantly since the collector resold it.

For example, the late Inuit artist Kenojwak Ashivak sold an edition titled 1960 enchanted owl for $24. This work was later resold for more than $158,000.

Another example: Montreal artist Claude Tousignant would have received $5,500 when his painting was resold chromatic accelerator 90 in 2012 if a resale right exists at that time.

“Our government wants to make changes to Copyright Law In order to further protect artists, creations and copyright holders, a spokesperson for the Minister of Champagne, Laurie Bouchard, said. The resale right is an important step towards improving economic conditions for artists in Canada. »

The Canadian Artists Front (CARFAC) and the Association of Artists in the Visual Arts of Quebec want the resale right to take effect, allowing visual artists to collect 5% of the proceeds from the resale of their work. Real estate can also benefit.

The resale right exists in more than 90 countries, including the UK, India and all over the European Union. Canada is lagging far behind, forcing many artists to give up making a living from their art.

According to 2016 census data, Canada had 21,000 visual arts creators. Their average combined annual income was $20,000.

It is important to realize that half of our artists live in poverty. We all benefit from art and culture. Our creators deserve a higher and more stable income.

April Pritzky, CEO of CARFAC

Senator and art historian Patricia Buffy has been championing copyright reform in the country for several years. Remember that the right to resell has been in France for more than 100 years.

She says she knows many artists who sold their work for small sums early in their careers. Then they found that the value of some of them had doubled “by 10, if not more”.

Inuit artists, who often live in secluded areas and sell their work in the local market, can take advantage of the resale right.

Canadian artists have the highest percentage of working people living in poverty in the country. In fact, many live in lonely poverty, regrets mI Buffy. Our artists describe who we are, where we are and what we will face as a society. If they can’t support themselves financially, we will lose a window into who we are as Canadians. »

Paddy Lamb, an Edmonton-based article, says that it is very difficult for an artist to make a living from his art. It is mentioned that the value of the work can jump if the author becomes known among collectors.

“The works of Inuit artists gain value once they leave Nunavut, but they do not benefit from it at all,” he laments. [La réforme] It is a way that allows artists to live to earn a living. »

Lamb says Canadian artists have learned from peers in countries suitable for resale that these royalties “really help them.”

He asserts that “the majority of royalties in Britain are small amounts paid to artists who are not well known”. In Australia, a large portion is awarded to Aboriginal artists. What we ask is fairer rules. »

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