In 1958 my father, Robert Rauschenberg, painted Thaw, which he later sold to an art collector for $900. Fifteen years later, that collector sold the painting at auction for $85,000. My father was rightfully angry. His hard work was beginning to pay off, but not for him. If not for his continued art-making and the profile he went on to build in the art world, it's unlikely that Thaw would have increased so much in value.
United States copyright law protects the creations of performing artists, composers, writers and virtually every other kind of creator - except for visual artists - by ensuring they receive royalties for the resale of their work. It's only fair that this law should protect artists too.