What is the Resale Right? Application and calculation in Italy, the SIAE case

    What if after selling your artwork you could keep on earning from it? 

    Here is how!

    The Resale Right is the financial compensation that artists and/or their heirs receive on the sales of the works from the second exchange on, within 70 years after the authors’ death.

    It exists in various countries, for instance in France with theDrot de suite”, and each one follows a similar basic concept and operation, but varies with regard to rules, regulations and percentages of collection. In Italy the Resale Right is entrusted to SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) an entity that deals with the collection and brokerage of copyright.

    So let’s examine the Italian case.

    The Resale Right (Legislative Decree no. 118 of February 13, 2006) represents a protection for the artist and his or her heirs up to 70 years after his or her death, applicable three years after the first sale of a work, the value of which must be equal to or higher than € 3,000.

    SIAE is the entity in charge of receiving the resale right on behalf of all artists, even if not directly members of the organisation, withholding 17% as commission, as determined by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage until April 8, 2018

    To take advantage of this important right, some conditions may be observed:

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    • The resale right only applies to sales made by professionals of the art market (art galleries, auction houses and art dealers) as sellers, buyers or intermediaries.
    • Sales that take place between private individuals are excluded from the application.
    • The resale right is always paid by the seller.
    • The fee that the artist perceives can never be higher than € 500.
    • The professional who carries the sale is required within ninety days of the same to submit a sales declaration to SIAE and pay the correct amount.

    At this point, it should be clarified that the resale right is calculated based on the sale price of the work by applying a percentage that decreases in proportion to the increase in value, as shown in the diagram below:

    • 4% for the portion of sale price between € 3,000 and € 50,000.
    • 3% for the portion of sale price between € 50,000 and € 200,000.
    • 1% for the portion of sale price between € 200,000 and € 350,000.
    • 0.5 % for the portion of sale price between € 350,000 and € 500,000.
    • 0.25 % for the portion of sale price above € 500,000.

    For more information, see the page of SIAE regarding the Resale Right.


    All artists should be aware of their rights and the application specifics, as in the case of the resale right, to continue with perseverance and tranquillity the sale of their works.


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