California Lawyers for the Arts Address the California Resale Royalty Act.

California Lawyers for the Arts has been a long-time advocate for the California Resale Royalty Act, as an important method of economic support for visual artists.

California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA) will honor retired State Senator Alan Sieroty for groundbreaking legislation that he authored supporting California artists, including the California Resale Royalty Act. Sen. Sieroty will receive CLA's Artistic License Award at CLA's annual event at the William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica on June 30, along with four other stellar supporters of the arts.

CLA has been a long-time advocate for the California Resale Royalty Act, as an important method of economic support for visual artists. With the support of the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, CLA recently submitted an amicus "friend of the court" brief to support the Act, which is being challenged in current litigation in federal court.

The California Resale Royalty Act requires that artists be paid five percent of the resale price of their artwork when it is sold in California or by any seller that resides in the state. This includes works owned by a hotel, restaurant, corporate center, or retail store, as well as a private individual, when it changes hands. At the time of the sale, the artist must be a US citizen or be a resident of California for at least two years.
Currently, three class action lawsuits are underway as artists allege that Sotheby's, Christie's, and eBay have failed to pay these royalties. An initial ruling by the US District Court that the law was unconstitutional is being appealed in the US District Court by the plaintiffs,

Alma Robinson, the Executive Director for California Lawyers for the Arts, stated: "Those of us who appreciate the arts understand that many artists accept the difficult challenge of making a living through their creative work. The California Resale Royalty Act is important because the money it generates can supplement an artist's income. It also gives artists an incentive to continue their careers."

In recent comments to the US Copyright Office, which is considering the feasibility of a national resale royalty, she stated: "Through US copyright protection, statutory and industry standards, musical, literary and performance artists benefit from the continuous resale of their works. Singularly, visual artists have not had a national framework for reaping such rewards. More than 80% of the visual artists who responded to a recent CLA survey about the resale royalty said that the law is an important incentive for them to continue working as a visual artist."

CLA provides its members with numerous workshops that empower artists to protect their work and earn a fair living from their output. In cases of dispute about resale royalties and other payment issues, CLA can provide affordable representation and alternative dispute resolution services, including mediation and arbitration.

In addition to Sen.Sieroty, CLA will honor the following persons at the June 30 Artistic License Awards event in Santa Monica: Wayne Kramer, co-founder of Jail Guitar Doors, for providing music in prisons;
Intel Corporation for pro bono legal services, including patent applications;
Catherine Emanuel, attorney, for pro bono legal services;
and California Sen. Carol Liu of Glendale, for her contributions to the arts.

About California Lawyers for the Arts
California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA) empowers the creative community by providing education, representation and dispute resolution. Artists and arts organizations serve as agents of democratic involvement, innovation, and positive social change, and the growth of an empowered arts sector is essential to healthy communities. CLA's leadership and services strengthen the arts for the benefit of communities throughout California.

For more information contact: Mike Mena at 310-316-0612 or