I move amendment No. 71:
In page 59, before section 89, to insert the following new section:
"89.-(1) In this section-
'artist' means the author of an original work of art;
'artists resale right' means the right of the artist granted in this section;
'artist's resale royalty' means the percentage of the proceeds of the sale the work to which the artist is entitled under this section;
'original works of art' means works of graphic or plastic art, including pictures, paintings, collages, drawings, engravings, prints, etchings, lithographs, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics, glassware and photographs, and copies of works of art which have been made in limited numbers by or with the authority of the artist, and 'original work of art' shall be construed accordingly;
'registered licensing body' means a collecting society representing artists which is registered under the provisions ofPart III, Chapter 8 of this Act;
'sale price' means the price at which the original work of art is sold, exclusive of all taxes and seller's commission;
'the intermediary' means the agent or agency acting as intermediary between the purchaser and the seller, such as organisers of public sales and auctions, art galleries and in general, any dealers in works of art;
'the seller' means the person or persons entitled to receive the sale price of an original work of art.
(2) The author of an original work of art shall, subject to the provisions of this section, have the right to receive a percentage of the proceeds of all sales of the work subsequent to the first sale or transfer of ownership thereof.
(3) The artist's resale right shall be inalienable and incapable of waiver.
(4) The artist's resale right shall apply to all acts of resale of original works of art involving sellers, buyers or intermediary art market professionals, such as salerooms, art galleries, and in general, any dealers in works of art, which take place from the date or enactment of this legislation.
(5) (a) the artist’s resale royalty shall be payable by the seller within three months of the date of sale of the original work of art.
(b) the levying and payment of the royalty to a party specified in subsection (9) shall be the responsibility of the person who engages in the sale of, or who serves as the intermediary for, original works of art.
(6) (a) The amount of the artist’s resale royalty shall be determined, from time to time, by the Minister.
(b) No artist’s resale royalty shall be payable in respect of a sale where the seller shall prove that the resale price of the work does not exceed the purchase price paid by the seller.
(c) No artist’s resale right shall apply to the particular situation of art galleries which acquire works directly from the artist, providing the resale takes place within three years of the acquisition.
(7) The artist's resale right shall endure for the same period as the copyright term.
(8) The artist's resale royalty shall be payable to the artist, and after her or his death to any of the following parties: the artist's personal representative; the beneficiary of the artist's resale royalty under the will of the artist, it having been admitted to probate; the heir at law of the artist in the event that the artist died interstate and no grant of administration to her or his estate has been extracted.
(9) It shall be a sufficient discharge of the seller's obligation to pay the artist's resale royalty if the seller or the intermediary shall pay the same to a registered licensing body or to an agent appointed to act on behalf of any parties specified insubsection (8) hereof.
(10) In the event that the person entitled to receive an artist's resale royalty cannot after reasonable enquiry be ascertained or identified by the seller of an original work of art, and there is in existence no registered collecting body, then the amount of the royalty shall be held in trust by the seller for the person entitled to receive it for a period of three years from the date of sale, and thereafter the obligation to pay the artist's resale royalty shall be at an end.
(11) (a) The seller of an original work of art shall be obliged, upon receipt of a request in that behalf, to furnish to any of the parties specified subsection (8) or (9) hereof, details of the sale price of such original works of art and the date of sale of the same.
(b) An agent or representative of sellers of original works of art and an organiser of a sale of original works of art shall be obliged, upon receipt of a request in that behalf, to furnish to any of the parties specified in subsection (8) and (9) hereof, details of the sale price and date of sale of all sales of original works of art conducted the preceding year in which the party requesting the information has an interest. In the event the artist’s resale royalty has not been paid within the period specified in subsection (5), the agent shall be also obliged to provide the name and address of the seller on receipt of a request for such information.”.
This amendment involves the insertion of a new section dealing with artists' resale rights. Many countries in the European Union have enshrined artists' resale rights in legislation and eight out of the 15 members states actually implement such legislation. I am informed that the United States is considering taking this route. In that event, Ireland would be one of the few countries in the developed world which does not recognise the work of artists.
Members are aware that artists create original works. We are not seeking action in respect of the sale of such works but it should be noted that artists can often only make money on the sale of their original works. If such works increase greatly in value and are resold a number of times, the artist who created the work initially does not receive any remuneration from those resales. That is inequitable and we should place on the Statute Book a provision to enshrine artists' resale rights in law in this country.
This matter only impacts on a small number of artists at present but the Irish art market is growing. However, the provisions contained in the amendment would, in a short period, prove to be of major help to artists who, in later life, despite the fact that their paintings can increase dramatically in value, may find themselves in dire financial circumstances. An artist who is possibly living from hand to mouth at present may see his work increase dramatically in value in a number of years but he will gain nothing as things stand. The only people who gain at present are the owners of art galleries, dealers, speculators and those who market the work.
Given that artists' resale rights are part of law in France, Germany and Denmark, we are anxious that they should also be placed on the Statute Book here. The Minister of State indicated previously that only wealthy artists would qualify but if one follows that train of thought one could also say that there should be no copyright in music because only wealthy musicians would qualify. Is the Irish market large enough to justify artists' resale rights? Not yet, but if we encourage artists, as previous Governments have done, the market will develop in the future. In my opinion, the inclusion of the new section would provide encouragement to artists in itself.
I am anxious to hear the Minister of State's comments on the amendment. In my opinion the amendment, or at least the principle behind it, should be accepted.