Case C-41/14, Christie’s France – the single market in reselling art works ‘Going! Going! Gone!’

When original works of art are resold, the EU’s artists’ resale right Directive 2001/84/EC requires that a royalty is paid to the author of the work by the seller. The Directive goes on to allow either the seller or professional sellers, such as art galleries, to share the liability for paying the royalty in accordance with national law. In this case, a French auction house decided to change its terms and conditions so that the buyer, and not the seller, became liable to pay the royalty. Can contract derogate from the seller’s obligation to pay the royalty that is enshrined in the Directive?

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