After more than a year of court filings and hearings and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, artist Mark Grotjahn and Dean Valentine, one of his earliest collectors, have settled a high-profile dispute over the payment of the resale royalty specified by California law.
Although the law providing a 5% royalty to artists whose “original” (one of a kind—not editioned) artwork is resold at a profit has been on the books since 1976, it has been widely neglected and unevenly enforced. Remarkably few lawsuits have been filed over the statute until Grotjahn pursued his case in 2010 and a different group of artists filed a class-action suit against Christie’s, Sotheby’s and EBay last fall.
Grotjahn’s case had been scheduled to go to trial on March 6. Instead, after court-ordered mediation, Valentine agreed to pay Grotjahn $153,255 to settle the case. This figure includes the 5% resale royalty (plus interest) on one painting and one drawing that the collector had bought and resold, amounting to $68,255, plus $85,000 toward Grotjahn’s legal fees.
Category: Resale royalties
February 8, 2012 | 2:30 pm