Innovation Asset Blog

U.S. Copyright Office supports droit de suite

The U.S. Copyright Office recently released a statement supporting droit de suite, or the right of artists and their heirs to receive royalties on the resale of their works. America currently uses a first-sale doctrine, where artists' royalties begin and end with the first time their work is sold.

In its report, the Copyright Office wrote that the current model brings profits to "collectors or investors who purchase [the work] along the way, but not necessarily to the artists who create and sell the works in the first place."

In a 1992 report, the Copyright Office had concluded droit de suite was not necessary or desirable, but reversed its position after extensive review. Part of this reversal is the worldwide trend of resale royalties - the English term for droit de suite - becoming very common. In the last two decades, more than 70 countries have adopted some version of this policy, according to The New York Times. Resale royalty bills have been introduced in some U.S. states, but have ultimately failed.

The report concludes that current practices place artists at a disadvantage compared to other creators of copyrighted content, like lyricists, screenwriters and authors.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.