Spain has lost a European Union lawsuit over artist Salvador Dali’s intellectual property rights. The European Court of Justice ruled in support of a French law which says the family of an artist must be paid royalties on resold works for 70 years after his or her death.
Dali died in 1989, survived by five family members but having no descendants. The surrealist had made the Spanish state his heir. On this basis, Spain in 2005 took France to court claiming some resale royalties paid to the family. On non-resale uses of Dali’s works in France, Spain was paid regularly.
The Court said EU states could make their own laws on who gets what. France limits resale payments to family members. There is also a 2001 EU directive aimed at ensuring artists benefit financially in their work’s later success.