WANGANUI professional artist Peter Ireland believes putting a royalty payment on artworks when resold is a good idea.
However, along with several other artists the Chronicle spoke to yesterday, he is undecided on whether he will make a submission to the Government proposal for such, announced on Monday by Prime Minister and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Helen Clark and Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard.
"I think the principle is a good one. It is about justice, but when push comes to shove, it is about the mechanism involved."
Mr Ireland saw such a scheme as a logical progression to the Authors Fund, set up by the Norman Kirk Labour Government in the 1970s whereby authors receive a royalty payment based on the number of times their book is taken out of a Public Library.
Matt Couper, who graduated from Wanganui Polytechnic's Quay School of Arts almost 10 years ago, and who last year saw one of his 2001 works sell at auction for five times its original price, said the issue was not simple.
"It is not a matter of yes or no. Such a scheme in New Zealand could have repercussions ? the attitude to buyers needs a lot of consideration.
"And auctions are weird things. If someone wants a particular work and has the money they will outbid everyone. But something that a dealer might have sold for $1000 might go to auction and only get $200."
Mr Couper said he would have to research the matter and exactly what happened in other countries before making a submission, if any.
Julie Greig, who has been a professional artist since 2001, believes the proposal is "a great idea." Some artists, she said, already had contracts that gave them resale royalties on original work.
She receives royalties on her prints, but not from original work she had heard, but had no direct knowledge, of being resold.
"New Zealand artists are becoming more legally savvy and they need to be vigilant checking the internet.
"A woman in Canada took images off my website and created tapestry pattern from them which she sold throughout America. I was told of it by a friend and managed to stop it."
Submissions to the proposal's discussion document, close on June 22.
It looks at the range of art works to be covered by the scheme, the scope of re-sales, the royalty rate ? 5 percent of the net resale price has been suggested ? who would be liable for payment, whether payment would be made only to living artists or also the estates of dead artists.
Issues of reciprocity with countries operating similar schemes and which agency would collect the royalties are also raised.
Ms Tizard said a resale royalty rights overseas tended to apply to work sold through dealers and auctioneers. Works sold privately were not usually included.
The discussion paper is on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage website http://www.mch.govt.nz/publications/resale-royalty