Half a dozen pieces over three decades mark the progress of artists' resale royalty right legislation in Europe, California and the UK.

A campaign by artists lobbying for the introduction of this economic right in the UK was formally launched in 1993, and in 1996 the EU Commission proposed and then adopted (in 2001) a Directive (legal requirement) that all Member States introduce this right into their domestic laws by 2006.

Artist Resale Right finally became law in the UK on 14 February 2006.

The resale royalty right gives artists the legal right to receive a small share of the resale price on the second and subsequent sales of their works, during their lives and for 70 years after death and, by 2012, the right will be given to the estates of artists who have died within the previous 70 years.

This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material. The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.