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ECJ: Auction houses may transfer cost of artist’s resale royalties to the buyer

Brad-SpitzAn auction house may transfer the responsibility of paying the artist’s ‘droit de suite’ from the seller to the buyer.

This judgment, rendered by the European Court of Justice on 26 February 2015 in response to a reference from the French Supreme Court, will satisfy the auction houses and art dealers in Europe (Christie’s France SNC v Syndicat national des antiquaires, Case C-41/14). The ECJ has held that under Article 1(4) of Directive 2001/84/EC on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art, the seller or an art market professional involved in a transaction may agree with any other person, including the buyer, that the said other person will bear the [...]

Artist’s Resale Rights: French preliminary question to the ECJ

Brad-SpitzCan an auction house transfer the responsibility of paying the resale right royalty from the seller to the buyer?

Directive 2001/84/EC created a resale right (‘droit de suite’) in the EU for the benefit of the author of an original work of art. This resale right is ‘defined as an inalienable right, which cannot be waived, even in advance, to receive a royalty based on the sale price obtained for any resale of the work, subsequent to the first transfer of the work by the author’ (Article 1). The directive was adopted in 2001 but only came into force on 1 January 2010.

Article 1(4) of Directive 2001/84/EC states that ‘The royalty shall be payable by the seller’, and that Member St [...]

An end to The Netherlands as an IP tax haven?

Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution by which it urges EU Member States to combat tax fraud and evasion. The resolution was adopted by a large majority, 538 votes in favour to 73 against. What could make this tax-resolution of interest for copyrightholders and holders of other IPR’s is the suggestion that very popular (and completely legal) tax constructions with regard to royalties might be abolished as a result of this resolution.

The so-called Dutch mailbox-construction, reportedly used by many non-Dutch rock stars and sports stars, but also by large multinationals as Coca-Cola, Ikea and Gucci, is one of the constructions that is targeted by the resolution. According [...]

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