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Advocating for Resale Royalties & Image Licensing in Aotearoa's Secondary Art Market

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We are seeking equality for artists by advocating for resale royalties for artists and payment for image licensing.

Aotearoa New Zealand is out of step with international practice, which means there is inequity in the way artist’s Intellectual Property is being sold in the secondary market. We are seeking to change that.

Secondly, the use of copyrighted imagery for commercial purposes — artist's work being reproduced in material to promote and market sales — legally requires payment. Legislation is already in place outlining that artists be paid a licensing fee in these instances. We are seeking to ensure it is.

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If images of your work are used in an auction catalogue, you are legally entitled to be paid. Copyright Licensing New Zealand's role is to make sure every artist enjoys their right to full value from the reproduction of their work.

Copyright New Zealand issue the licences, and collects the revenue to distribute back to the rights holders — you the artist. Copyright New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation.

The synthesis between resale royalties for artists and image licensing is twofold. Firstly, a larger number of artists receive payment by way a licensing fee than the few that sell at auction who would benefit from resale royalties. Secondly, the organisational structure of Copyright Licensing New Zealand is an ideal framework for the oversight of Resale Royalties and the collection of this revenue. Working with Copyright New Zealand will help us to address resale royalties at a governmental level.

Sign up here.

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We have begun campaigning the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to revisit Resale Royalties for Artists, originally tabled in 2007 (link to this doc below).

We wish to reach an agreement in principle with vested interests that change is needed.

We will be holding a hui this week — 7pm, Thhursday, 25th November. Please sign up (below) to receive notification of this, and updates on progress — we promise not to over-communicate via email.

There has been a huge amount of support from artists and arts organisations over the past week seeking change, and the hui this week will aim to share information as to what has been acheived and what's next. 

Our next step will be to open this conversation up to include all interested parties — artists, gallerists, auction houses, public institutions — we are working on broadening this conversation to discuss ways forward.



To keep up to date on progress and get in touch.

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Without resale royalties in which artists are paid a percentage for the resale of their Intellectual Property they are ostensibly philanthropists-in-reverse — gifting to the purchaser at every moment of re-sale.

Likewise, without payment for copyrighted material — as is standard in the music, publishing and entertainment industries — artists are not being treated equitably as holders of Intellectual Property.

Artists of Aotearoa are currently operating under terms in which their work is traded, and sold for profit in a secondary market where profits are being made without the producers of that culture having to be remunerated. This is out of step with many other countries — resale royalties have been in place in France since 1920.

Many other countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Norway, Chile amongst others.

Without a resale royalty agreement in Aotearoa New Zealand, if an Aotearoa artist's work is sold in any of these countries, there is no obligation that a resale royalty is paid.

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A group of artists — Judy Darragh, Dane Mitchell and Reuben Paterson — are working closely with lawyer Caroline Stone, an experienced art licensing consultant, along with Copyright New Zealand's Chief Executive Paula Browning, and their Creative Rights Educator Karen Workman.

We are looking for others to engage in this conversation. Our aim is to start a discussion that we invite others to participate in.