The Artists’ Resale Right, championed by DACS, is paid to registered artists whose artwork is resold through the secondary art market; by auction houses, galleries, dealers etc. – By those in the industry that are prepared to participate. *
In theory the artist would get approx 3% of the resale value, and this would continue for up to 75 years after the artists death; being payable into the artists estate/surviving family.
This seems completely reasonable; the artist can only sell a work once yet it can pass through the industry several times, invariably increasing in value, and is therefore of financial benefit to everyone but the artists themselves.
The threshold was set at roughly €3000. However in 2006 the figure was decreased to €1000 by the EU. This meant that a large number of artists who had previously earned nothing, because their work did not sell above the previous threshold, could now at least receive €30 occasionally.
There is now a campaign within the industry to get the figure increased back to €3000 because it is deemed too costly and time-consuming to administer – Ah what a shame – I would point out though that if it wasn’t for the artwork there wouldn’t be an industry at all!
* DACS also help with copyright licensing and royalty collection.