Exploring the Findings of the DACS ARR Report

August 22, 2023

Following the publication of the DACS ARR Report, we explore the crucial role Artist Resale Rights royalties play in bolstering artists and the broader UK art market.

The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) is the leading not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation in the UK. In its report published this month, DACS shed light on the crucial role that Artist Resale Rights (ARR) royalties play in bolstering both artists and the broader UK art market. The findings, drawn from a comprehensive survey of DACS members, artist testimonials, as well as close analysis of ARR distribution data and public information, highlight how ARR significantly benefits artists, their successors, and the wider creative landscape.

Introduced in the UK in 2006, ARR has emerged as an important force within the art industry, distributing over £120 million in royalties to more than 6,000 artists and their heirs. Arcual is actively engaged in discussions with DACS to introduce automation and innovation to the ARR collection process. Here, we take a closer look at some of the key findings from the report:

Resilience Amidst Uncertainty:

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, DACS managed to allocate an impressive £10.5 million in ARR royalties in 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic figures.

Fuelling Artistic Endeavours:

A staggering 75% of surveyed artists reinvest their ARR royalties directly into their artistic practices. These funds support a wide spectrum of essential needs, ranging from studio expenses and material acquisitions to professional development opportunities.

Inclusivity in Royalty Disbursement:

The report highlights that over two-thirds of ARR payments in 2021 amounted to less than £500. Moreover, a noteworthy 10% of artists received ARR royalties for the very first time that year, underlining ARR's democratising impact.

Potential Economic Growth:

Remarkably, ARR royalties constitute a mere 0.1% of the value of the UK art market, which ranks second globally and contributes £9.5 billion to the national economy.

Emergence of New Artistic Voices:

The resale art market is witnessing a growing appetite for "ultra-contemporary" artists, creating opportunities for artists born since 1990 to benefit from ARR royalties.

Arcual Empowers Artists through Innovative Technology:

Arcual enables artists in traditional mediums to harness the potential of blockchain technology to secure a share of their resales. Noelia Gamallo, Arcual's Ecosystem Manager, recently emphasised in a compelling article for Right Click Save that all artists, regardless of nationality, deserve to reap the rewards of resales. Arcual employs smart contracts to ensure the contractual payment of royalties for physical artworks, transcending geographical boundaries. This technology proves particularly impactful in countries without established resale rights legislation, such as the USA or Switzerland.

In conclusion, the DACS report demonstrates the instrumental role that ARR royalties play in supporting artists and invigorating the UK art market. As Arcual pioneers the integration of blockchain technology to enhance ARR collection and distribution, the art world stands poised to embrace a future where artists, regardless of their background, can thrive and flourish through equitable compensation for their creative endeavours. Read the full DACS report and learn more about this important topic here.

Stay tuned for more from Arcual Blog!

Image shown: Michel Pérez Pollo, Untitled, 2022. On view at Art Basel 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Mai 36 Gallery

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