The California Resale Royalty Act: Droit De [Not So] Suite
22 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2010 Last revised: 13 Sep 2010
Date Written: 12 10, 2009
It is a generally accepted principal that an artist owns certain rights to exploit the economic value of his works. In the United States an artist’s rights are protected by various provisions of the federal copyright laws. These pecuniary rights exist largely in the same form across the globe, however, some countries, and now the state of California, have begun to recognize personal rights of artists in their work. These moral rights, or droit moral, are retained by the artist even after a work is sold. The particular moral right that this paper is concerned with is the droit de suite or “art proceeds right.” The droit de suite grants artists the right to receive a royalty based on the resale of his work. It is the proposition of this paper that California’s statutory version of droit de suite, California Civil Code Section 986 (“Resale Royalty Act”), effects a Fifth Amendment taking of private property and thus, at a minimum, requires just compensation.
Keywords: Constitution, Art, California Resale Royalty Act, Fifth Amendment, Taking
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