The Unconvincing Case for Resale Royalties

11 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2014 Last revised: 8 May 2014

See all articles by Guy A. Rub

Guy A. Rub

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: May 6, 2014


The American Royalties Too Act (known as the ART Act) is now pending in Congress. If passed, it will grant visual artists a right, known as droite de suite, to collect royalties when their works are resold. The proponents of the bill partly rely on a comprehensive report, published by the U.S. Copyright Office in December 2013, urging Congress to consider such resale royalty rights. The essay questions whether our legal system needs to provide additional compensation to visual artists. It considers the purported rationales for this legislation and finds them misguided. Therefore, because visual artists are neither poor nor in a weak bargaining position vis-à-vis their buyers, and because the Copyright Act does not disfavor these artists in any way, there is no convincing justification to enact resale royalties and to force society to incur their significant costs.

In addition, the essay argues that in its current form the proposed ART Act is especially harmful because its drafters chose to reject some of the recommendations of the Copyright Office and to make resale royalties transferable and retroactive.

Keywords: Copyright, Resale Royalties, droite de suite, Congress, Legislation, Art

JEL Classification: K00, K11, K20, L11, O34, D41, D72

Suggested Citation

Rub, Guy A., The Unconvincing Case for Resale Royalties (May 6, 2014). 124 Yale Law Journal Forum 1 (2014), Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 245, Available at SSRN:

Guy A. Rub (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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