The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) is the only Community Interest Company dedicated to the collection of the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR), or droit de suite, on behalf of artists and artists’ estates in both the UK and the EU. Please continue reading to find out more about ARR and why ACS is good for both artists and the artistic community. To read more about the ACS Copyright Service, click here.
ACS was set up by Harriet Bridgeman (founder of Bridgeman Images) in response to requests from artists and Art Market Professionals who recognised the need for a transparent, fair and professional collecting society that puts artists’ needs first. Harriet Bridgeman’s experience, knowledge and passion for art ensured ACS was created ‘for the love of art’.
Who can register?
Beneficiaries, trusts, foundations etc. of an artist’s estate are able to register for ARR. The right of beneficiaries to ARR generated from secondary sales of the work of deceased artists (who died as EU nationals) was introduced on 1st January 2012, in the UK and Ireland. In most other EU countries, beneficiaries have been entitled to these royalties since 2006.
Once you have mandated ACS to collect your ARR, we take on the entire administrative burden of tracing sales and pursuing fees owed to the estate. ACS works with estates on an individual basis and we are known for our personal and professional service.
Joining is simple. We require all beneficiaries / trustees / executors of an individual estate to sign a mandate and complete a basic registration form. There are no joining or membership fees, we simply deduct a 15% commission from royalties collected to cover our administrative costs. You can join ACS online here.
How long does ARR last?
The Artist’s Resale Right lasts the length of copyright (the lifetime of the artist plus 70 years following his / her death).
Who can inherit ARR?
The Artist’s Resale Right can only be inherited by:
- a ‘natural’ person or persons (i.e. not a company or partnership
- a UK charity or a charity administered in an EEA country
If you are not sure who is eligible to receive ARR following the death of an artist, ACS can help and advise you. We represent a large number of estates, some of which are still in the course of administration, as well as foundations and trusts. We can also assist you by obtaining copies of the wills of deceased artists to help determine entitlement.
How will ARR royalties be divided?
An artist can bequeath their ARR to an individual or to several beneficiaries. Where ARR is owned by more than one beneficiary, ACS will pay each beneficiary the proportion of ARR royalties to which they are entitled according to the terms set out in the artist’s will or intestacy.
As we operate solely for the benefit of our member artists, ACS was formed as a Community Interest Company. This means that any surplus income is locked into the company and used for the benefit of our member artists and the artistic community.
ACS is proud to fund bursaries for art students at leading institutions, whilst sponsoring a number of art prizes and charities. For more information on the specific projects we are currently supporting, please click here or visit our news section.
How we operate
ACS works closely with dealers and auctioneers throughout the UK to track all sales of our members’ work. Royalties are then collected from the sellers and distributed directly to the artist or their estate at the end of the month in which they are received.
In order to ensure the collection of all ARR due throughout Europe, ACS uses the services of a number of European collecting societies. If a foreign collecting society’s commission is higher than 15%, where legally possible, ACS will always collect directly from Art Market Professionals in that country. This ensures that the artist or estate is never charged more than is absolutely necessary.
As a full collecting society, ACS also administers the collection and distribution of copyright on behalf of artists or their estates. Through its affiliation with Bridgeman Images, ACS is a one-stop-shop for artists’ rights management, administering reproduction licensing, as well as artists’ ARR and copyright.
The Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) is a royalty generated on the sale price of original works of art that are sold on the secondary market.
ARR was introduced into UK law in 2006 but only applied to living artists. This changed in January 2012 when the right was extended to include the estates of deceased artists.
Before the introduction of the ARR legislation, artists rarely benefited from the increasing profits which were generated on the resale of their works. The EC Resale Right Directive and the UK Regulations on ARR were implemented to rectify this situation and reward artists with a proportion of the resale price of their work.
How is ARR calculated?
ARR is calculated on a sliding scale. Currently the threshold in the UK is €1,000. All sales which reach a sale price between €1,000 & €50,000 generate a royalty of 4% of the sale price. Works that sells above this are calculated at a lower percentage. To see if a sale is eligible please visit our ARR calculator here.
Are there any exceptions?
Artists will receive a royalty, consisting of a percentage of the sale price of an original work of art, if they are a qualifying creator (an EU national) and when the work is:
- sold on the secondary market in the EU
- sold by, or through the agency of, an Art Market Professional (auction houses, art galleries, dealers etc.)
- sold and the sale price reaches or exceeds the sterling equivalent of €1,000 (this applies to UK sales only as this amount varies throughout the EU)
What constitutes a ‘resale’?
The Artist’s Resale Right applies to all subsequent sales after the first transfer of ownership by the creator. The first transfer of ownership can be by way of a sale, gift, legacy or, in the case of bankruptcy, disposal by a personal representative or trustee.
What works does ARR apply to?
ARR applies to all original pictures, collages, lithographs, sculptures, paintings, drawings, tapestries, ceramics, engravings, prints, glassware and photographs.
When does ARR not apply?
The Artist’s Resale Right does not apply to works that are:
- bought as stock
- sold outside the EU
- private sales
- created by a non-qualifying creator