Sunday, November 19, 2006

Guidance on UK resale royalty rights collection

The UK Patent Office posted this advice on its website earlier this week on the collection of artists' resale royalty rights: "How is the right managed?

Resale right is managed by collecting societies; individual artists are not able to request payments directly. This means that the seller is required to pay all royalties to a collecting society who will then distribute them to the artist.

Which collecting society?

Under the Regulations an artist may mandate which collecting society collects resale royalties on his or her behalf. It is the artist’s choice as to which collecting society they use. Currently we are aware of two collecting societies operating in this area; the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS). However, there may be other collecting societies active in this area.

If an artist has not mandated any particular society then the collecting society which manages both copyright, in general, for all artists and artist’s resale right will be deemed to be mandated. Currently DACS is the only society which meets this criterion. Therefore any artist who has not mandated another society will be deemed to have mandated DACS to collect on their behalf. ACS was established solely for the collection of resale right and can only collect on behalf of artists who mandate them to do so.

Whom should I pay?

If you have completed a sale on which a royalty is to be paid, then this royalty should be paid to the collecting society which requests payment and has a mandate from the artist to collect on their behalf. If no society has such a mandate, the payment should be made to DACS who will be deemed to have been mandated in this case.

DACS will request payment of royalties on all sales of works either by artists who have mandated them to do so or by artists who have not mandated any society. DACS will not request payment on behalf of an artist whom they are aware has mandated another society. ACS will only request payment on behalf of an artist who has mandated them to do so.

Status of this guidance

This guidance provides information about the collection of resale royalties and has no legal force. This guidance should not be read as endorsing any particular collecting society, neither should the absence of a mention of any particular society be taken as indication that that society does not comply with the regulations in any way". The site then refers readers to the websites of DACS and the ACS for further information.

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