droit de suite

droit de suite (drwah d[schwa] sweet), n. [French “right to follow”]

1. A creditor’s right to recover a debtor’s property after it passes to a third party.

2. Copyright. An artist’s resale royalty; the right of a work’s creator to benefit from appreciation in the value of the work by receiving a portion of the profit from its later resales. • A droit de suite is recognized in some European nations.

“The droit de suite (literally translated as the right to follow the work) enables artists to claim a portion of the price for which a work is resold. The idea is that an artist may sell a painting for a low price at a time when they are unknown and have little bargaining power. In due course, as the artist’s reputation develops, the painting may be resold for continually increasing sums…. The right is seen to be justified not only because it encourages creation, but also because the artist is conceived (through the authorial link) as being responsible for the increase in value (economic success of their works).” Lionel Bently & Brad Sherman, Intellectual Property Law 281 (2001).

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