ACS and DACS unite to uphold the rights of artists and artists' estates
March 18, 2022
The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), with the help of the art law team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and Harry Martin of 5 Stone Buildings, have united to uphold the rights of artists and artists’ estates and ensure that they receive the royalties that are rightfully owed to them by jointly bringing legal action against well-known art dealer, Ivor Braka.


Since the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) was first introduced in 2006, both ACS and DACS have been dedicated to ensuring that their members receive the royalties that they are rightfully owed to them from the secondary sales of their work.


ACS and DACS have made repeated requests to art dealer Ivor Braka and his company Ivor Braka Limited to report sales on which the royalty is due, to which Mr Braka has refused to respond in breach of his legal obligation to do so. The claim against Braka is the first of its kind in the UK. Both ACS and DACS are hoping this case will set a precedent for Court action to address non-compliance with the ARR and disclosure of sales information.


Generated from the secondary sales of artists and artists’ estates work, ARR royalties provide an invaluable form of financial aid for thousands of artists and their beneficiaries across the UK. The decision to undertake legal action underscores ACS’ and DACS’ commitment to pursuing a fair and transparent playing field amongst AMPs to ensure that artists and their estates receive royalties that are legally owed to them.


Harriet Bridgeman CBE, ACS’s Managing Director, said: “At the heart of the Artist’s Resale Right is the intention that artists and their estates should benefit from the increasing value of their work. After all, there would be no art without artists. The Artist’s Resale Right, now more than ever, provides invaluable financial support to artists and their estates, so it is imperative that we shine a light on those who are cutting off this essential source of income.”


Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive, DACS said: “While the majority of the art market complies with the Artist’s Resale Right Regulations, a few do not, and in doing so gain an unfair advantage against their fellow art dealers and deny artists and creatives income that is desperately needed, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope that the proceedings will encourage compliance with the Regulations, supporting artists and helping to balance the inequality of wealth in the art market.”


Tim Maxwell, Charles Russell Speechlys’ partner, said: “We are very pleased to be working with both ACS and DACS who provide such important support and guidance to artists. Their role as the licensed collection agents for Artist’s Resale Rights is incredibly important as they ensure the fair distribution of royalties generated through secondary market sales to artists and artists’ estates.


The concept of a royalty is accepted practice in other intellectual property fields such as film, music and literature so it is disappointing that some take the view that this royalty should not be paid, preventing the grass roots of the industry being supported in this way.


We are hopeful that this claim will act as a catalyst to allow artists to receive increased revenue during and after this most challenging of times.”


As we are able to, ACS and DACS will provide further information to members and our communities on our websites.