A Small Clarification for the Record
I fully understand how articles are assembled from various quotes and the impossible deadlines that most writers are working under these days, and I understand that there's nothing particularly damning about the way my quote is presented here, but given that I am on record (in The Art Newspaper itself no less), as supporting droit de suite in the US, and given the way this quote makes it sound as if I don't support it, I'd like to print the full quote I emailed to Helen when she asked me to comment on the lobbying effort:
Dealers also oppose the measure. [...] Others argue that the tax is inconsistent. Although some 50 countries have a resale tax, they adhere to different rules. The EU states follow a sliding scale of 4% to 0.25%, capped at €12,500. Australia allows a flat, uncapped royalty of 5%, but exempts the first resale of the work. “It will just lead collectors to resell their art in other jurisdictions,” said dealer Edward Winkleman.
Feder calls this claim “an old canard. That was also said in the 1990s, and was an argument used by the auction houses when they adopted droit de suite in the UK. Far from business fleeing…UK auctions have increased and [are now] a very vibrant market.” But the debate in Britain has reignited as the country nears the 2012 deadline when it must extend droit de suite to cover artists' heirs or estates up to 70 years after their death.
There are reasons to oppose droit de suite; with the two most convincing being that it will just lead collectors to resell their art in other jurisdictions, and it is perhaps an over-engineered response to the myth of the starving artist. But the lack of resale rights in the US has led to all manner of resentments, especially among artists, who often sacrifice a great deal to achieve a level of financial success in their careers. Perhaps even worse than such resentments, though, are the convoluted, covert practices (such as secret black lists) used to try to discourage the selling practices that droit de suite would make much more welcome in the eyes of artists.I think it's more than fair to argue that what I offered is not a "convincing" reason to oppose droit de suite, but it's not accurate to present my quote out of context such that it presents my opinion as opposite what it actually is.
Other than that, I enjoyed the article.