UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


Mara Grumbo


This note will argue that while many criticisms against droit de suite legislation are based on economic grounds, these grounds are not those on which the royalty is and should be based. These arguments miss the mark by focusing on the inadequacy of the economic value of the royalty rather than viewing droit de suite as a "moral rights" based measure, providing visual artists fair and equal protection under intellectual property law. Once one accepts the latter view and understands the royalty as a measure necessary to remedy the unjust treatment of visual artists under copyright law, the inadequate state of droit de suite in the United States becomes clear.

Furthermore, while various methods of implementation have been attempted in various countries and states, these methods have had varying degrees of success. The recent EU Directive on droit de suite appears to have been structured in a way that considered carefully these successes and failures by allowing member states to implement a central collection and distribution agency. Its passage not only places pressure on the United States to pass similar federal legislation, but also, unlike the California Resale Royalty Act, provides the United States a workable model on which to build.