Today's press release from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) is bound to annoy at least someone, since it addresses a subject that raises many individual and some collective hackles: the artist's resale right.
Right: one dead British artist who won't be benefiting from letting the derogation lapse - William Hogarth
The press release, "The Artist's Resale Right: The Derogation for Deceased Artists", reads in relevant part as follows (with key bits in bold):
"The UK Intellectual Property Office consultation to assess the likely impact of Artist's Resale Right and the derogation for deceased artists on the UK art market closed on 29 September after a week’s extension to accommodate late responses ["late"? Best unintended pun of the year ...].The IPKat, who is beginning to suspect that there may be votes in dead artists' resale rights after all, has no doubt which way the Government will decide this issue.
The consultation [which, the IPKat notes, remarkably attracted over 400 responses] sought views on whether to maintain the existing derogation, which applies to works by a living artist for a further two years until 1 January 2012, or to allow the derogation to lapse. If the derogation is allowed to lapse, works by deceased artists which are still in copyright will become eligible for resale right. ...
The UK Intellectual Property Office has done some initial analysis and around 90% answered no to the first question in the consultation, which was "Should the UK maintain the derogation for an additional 2 years?"
All of the artists and artists' estates who expressed an opinion on the derogation have said that they thought that it should be allowed to lapse. All bar two of the, often detailed, responses from the art trade were in support of extending the derogation until 2012.
Two UK collecting societies for resale right, supported by some of their overseas counterparts, argued that the derogation should be allowed to lapse. Several UK collecting societies and representatives of other rights made submissions saying that the derogation should be allowed to lapse in order that resale right is brought into line with the other types of copyright.
The UK Intellectual Property Office will now be analysing in detail all of the responses. If the Government decides it is necessary to extend the derogation it has to make a case to the European Commission by the end of this year. ...".
Consultation document here
Dead artists here
Dead poets here; dead poets' society here