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Legal fight over California's unique art-sales law nears climax
Legal fight over California's unique art-sales law nears climax

Past and future paydays for American artists were at stake in a Pasadena courtroom Tuesday as a group of them tried to salvage a special privilege that only California confers: the right to pocket a 5% royalty whenever a California collector or gallery sells their work on the secondary market. Lawsuits brought in 2011 by several prominent artists or their heirs aimed to force Sotheby’s and Christie’s, two leading international art auction houses, and EBay to collect the 5% royalty. But a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the case in 2012, finding that the California Legislature exceeded its authority when it passed the Resale Royalty Act in 1976. The judge ruled that the...

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