A very interesting post from the Crikey blogs by Peter Gosford.

The article looks at the royalty system coming out of Canberra and the benefit that it will produce for Indigenous artists.

Here is some of the article:

Garrett’s model for the resale royalty scheme has been the subject of particularly bitter opposition from the big end of town – the large auction houses and art dealers. They don’t like the prospect of daylight shining on the shady dealings of the nether regions of their industry, they don’t like the extra administrative load it will place on their businesses and they don’t like the idea of their clients having to shell out more money.

And the indigenous artists the subject of Garrett’s unashamed motives? Well, they, and the dozens of small arts centres scattered across remote Australia that most of them work through, reckon they’ve been sold a pup and that Garrett’s model is seriously flawed and needs fixing.

The flaws include that Garrett’s scheme will do nothing to stop the shamefully unscrupulous rump of the market that sees artists pumping out rubbish-art from sweatshops in Alice Springs and other large centres in the Territory and it will be an administrative nightmare for arts centres and their close commercial relatives, the small art galleries and dealers that sell the bulk of their work.

More serious concerns centre on what has been identified as an unashamed nod to the big end of town – namely that Garrett’s scheme, by only applying to new works created and sold for a second time after 31 June 2009, rather than all works that are sold for more than $1,000, will reduce benefits to artists to a slow and delayed trickle.

Related to this is that Garrett’s scheme will need a substantial and complex administrative back-end that will be expensive to run and will provide relatively meagre returns to the small number of potential tender bidders to operate the scheme.

And of particular concern to many of the small Aboriginal arts centres is that, because they must pay their artists up-front, the second resale trigger point will move, not from the first commercial sale in the broader market-place, but at the time the arts centre sells it to a dealer or it is sold by a gallery on exhibition.

Please have a read of it. While the intent of the royalty scheme is laudable, once again the execution is highly questionable.