Resale Royalty: Unfair Inequitable –
The Government recently introduced a resale royalty right. The way it works is that people who invest in eligible works get to pay the rights holders of those works for sitting around doing nothing. When intermediate owners improve the work (primarily by publicising it), the rights holder gets to benefit. The most egregious aspect of this system is that it arbitrarily chooses “artistes” as the receipients of the subsidy. Exactly why should artistes be entitled to such a payment when others in the economy are not? Will these artistes be willing to pay a subsidy to the original builder when they buy their home? Surely the building of a home involves at least as much skill and effort. Will they pay a subsidy the original cabinetmaker for the antiques they buy to create the right atmosphere for their creative endeavours? Surely clients should pay lawyers a cut if they rely on advice and make a profit? Surely school teachers should get a pecentage of the future income of the students they teach. School teachers put a lot of skill and effort in and are a notoriously underpaid sector.
Resale rights are unfair and discriminate in favour of a small sector of the community to the detriment of the balance. This is an ideology that is out of control. This sector is in desparate need of an ideology revamp so that “rights holders” have an expectation to secure their income only honestly from their efforts, rather than on the basis of subsidies from the rest of society.
(Of course, the inevitable has happened. As with all things copyright, the resale right has now gone on the extremism treadmill, with lobbyists already working to extend the scope of this egregious subsidy. I’ve even been asked to sign a petition in support – I don’t think so. )