Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unclaimed Art and its Proceeds

We mentioned recently that some states specifically earmark unclaimed funds for particular uses, such as education.  According to a recent article on Wicked Local, a bill pending in Massachusetts would set aside the proceeds from the Abandoned Property Division's auction of unclaimed "creative and individual works of art" for an Artists Disaster and Emergency Aid Fund to "ensure the safety and vitality of artists residing in the Commonwealth." 

Though Wicked Local included this pending legislation in its listing of the most unusual bills filed during the most recent legislative session, unclaimed art and royalties is a real issue.  We've covered earlier some of the controversies involving the Screen Actors Guild and unclaimed television and movie royalties.  More recently, New York Magazine published a brief story indicating that Sound Exchange, a performance rights organization that collects royalties on behalf of music artists, has in excess of $100 million in unclaimed royalties.

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