9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of California Resale Royalty Act Claims Against Christie’s

Skadden secured an affirmance by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of the dismissal of claims brought by a putative class of artists and their heirs against Skadden client Christie’s, Inc. under the California Resale Royalty Act (CRRA), which generally granted artists a mandatory, unwaivable right to 5 percent of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork. The putative class sought resale royalties from the statute’s effective date of Jan. 1, 1977, to the present. On July 6, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal based on any sales taking place after Jan. 1, 1978, agreeing with Skadden that any CRRA claims based on sales after this date are expressly pre-empted by the federal Copyright Act of 1976.