Swiss Federal Council publishes report on artist’s resale right

Copyright, Art Trade

With postulate from 5th of December 2013, the Swiss Federal Council was invited to submit a report concerning the so-called artist’s resale right.

In consideration of France’s introduction of the artist’s resale right in 1920 followed by the adoption of similar Regulations in many States, including all Members of the European Union, apart from the two biggest centers of art trade, namely the U.S. and China, the Swiss Federal Council was invited to demonstrate multiple possibilities allowing Swiss producers to benefit for a percentage of the resale of their work on the art market.

The Swiss Federal Council thereupon submitted a report on 11th of May 2016 showing various legal possibilities to this end and also analysed its possible economic impacts. After consideration of the issues, the report particularly shows that the aspired objective of a wide individual economic and social betterment of producers cannot be achieved. It also makes reference to the figures for the European Union which clearly demonstrate that ultimately only a few successfully benefit of such Regulation.

Therefore, the Swiss Federal Council is of the view that the introduction of an artist’s resale right may be dispensed. Nonetheless, experiences in other States as well as developments at international level, in particular the ongoing discussions in the Standing Committee for copyright and related rights of the WIPO, shall regularly be observed. Thus, the Swiss Federal Council does not exclude a reevaluation at a later time.

(Source: Mediarelease of Federal Councel dated 11 May 2016 (in German only))

* Anna Prohn

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