Sample Agreements
 Sample Agreements
Artist and Gallery Agreement

This sample agreement outlines what is needed when an Artist wishes to enter into a long term relationship with a Gallery where the Gallery acts as an agent.

Artist in Residence Agreement

This sample agreement summarises the conditions governing the grant of a residence to an artist.

Copyright Licence for Collecting Institutions

This sample Copyright Licence for Collecting Institutions agreement should be used when a museum or other institution holding a collection of artefacts or artworks, including cinematographic or multimedia works or works of artistic craftsmanship or other copyright materials, wishes to make and publish a digital copy of a work for the purpose of facilitating public access to its collection.

Copyright Licensing Agreement

This sample Copyright Licensing Agreement should be used when a person who owns the copyright in creative content wishes to give permission to another person to use their content (whether a visual artwork, text, music, film or other content) in a particular way.

Indigenous Artwork Reproduction License for fabric

This sample INDIGENOUS ARTWORK REPRODUCTION LICENCE (FABRIC) should be used when an artist who owns all rights and interests including copyright in an artwork (the Artwork) wants to grant a licensee an exclusive licence to reproduce the artwork in connection with the manufacture, importation, distribution, promotion, advertising and sale of printed fabric (the Fabric). The licence includes the right to adapt the Artwork into designs that can be printed as a repeating pattern onto Fabric under certain conditions (the Designs).

Indigenous Collaboration Agreement – Fashion and Furnishings

This sample INDIGENOUS COLLABORATION AGREEMENT should be used when a designer in the fashion, textile or home furnishing industry, or a business that is involved in the production of articles for the fashion and furnishing industries  (the Designer) wishes to work together with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island visual artist/ or group of visual artists (the Artist) to create and produce clothing, textiles and/or furnishing items based on or incorporating or inspired by the artworks of that artist or artists.

Public Art: Design and Commission Agreement

This sample agreement should be used when a visual artist is commissioned to design and create a public artwork. If the artwork is not a public work Arts Law's Design and Commission Agreement is more appropriate.

This sample Public Art: Design and Commission Agreement should be used when a visual artist is being commissioned to design and create a public artwork.

See also Jilalga Murray-Ranui case study

See also Arts Law’s case study on the best practice use of this sample agreement by the Town of Victoria Park

Sample Website Terms of Use

These sample Website Terms of Use are for use on websites either with a blog (i.e. a public "discussion board" that allows users to post their comments for others to read and comment on) or a more traditional website without a blog.

Workshop Participation Deed

This sample WORKSHOP PARTICIPATION DEED should be used when a person takes part in a workshop in which they will create copyright material, for example by writing text, composing music, creating new dance movement or coming up with new lines for a play, and possibly performs the material created.

 Info Sheets
Business Structures

This information sheet explains the difference between incorporated and unincorporated groups and some of the other issues you need to consider when looking at what business structure would suit you or your group.

Intestacy Kit - ACT

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper. For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit - NSW

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist the families of Indigenous artists who have passed away without making a will. The development of this resource is made possible though the support of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit - NT

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper. For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit - QLD

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist the families of Indigenous artists who have passed away without making a will. The development of this resource is made possible though the support of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit - VIC

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist the families of Indigenous artists who have passed away without making a will. The development of this resource is made possible though the support of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit - WA (post 7 August 2013)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away on or after 7 August 2013 without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. If the artist passed away without a will before 7 August 2013 please see the Intestacy Kit - WA (pre 7 August 2013)

The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd . For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit - WA (pre 7 August 2013)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and Jackson MacDonald. For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit – South Australia

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper. For the complete version please download the document.

Intestacy Kit – Tasmania

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper. For the complete version please download the document.

Solid Arts - The Visual Arts And Crafts

This fact sheet provides information about:

  • the nature of an artistic work
  • copyright in an artistic work
  • the rights of a copyright owner
  • how long copyright lasts
  • who owns copyright
  • using copyright: licensing and assigning
  • help with licensing
  • works of artistic craftsmanship
  • commissioned works
  • copying artistic works
  • using images of Indigenous art works
  • notices of custodial interest
  • selling online
  • sensitive material
  • bios, photos and stories
  • resources
     
WILLS KIT NT - When an Aboriginal or Torres Straits Islander artist passes away leaving a will

This Wills Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous visual artists who made a will before they passed away. If the artist passed away without making a will, see the Northern Territory Intestacy kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Limited.

WILLS KIT QLD - When an Aboriginal or Torres Straits Islander artist passes away leaving a will.

This Wills Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous visual artists who made a will before they passed away. IF the artist passed away without making a will, see the Queensland Intestacy Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Limited.

WILLS KIT VIC - When an Aboriginal or Torres Straits Islander artist passes away leaving a will.

This Wills Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous visual artists who made a will before they passed away. IF the artist passed away without making a will, see the Victoria Intestacy Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Limited.

 Info Sheets
Agency agreements

Actors, musicians and bands often appoint agents or managers to act on their behalf. Visual artists often have a dealer who represents them. The manager or agent can enter into contracts that are binding on the person who appointed them (the principal). There are specific legal rules which apply to these agency relationships.

This information sheet explains what an agency is, how it is created, the authority granted to an agent, an agent's obligations, and the important terms of agency agreements. It also deals with any state legislation that applies to agents, managers and venue consultants in the entertainment industry. Bands and visual artists should also read the “Music management checklist” and “Artist-gallery checklist”.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Arts Law Mediation Service

Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR are processes to resolve disputes without going to court, including by mediation and expert determination. This information sheet discusses different types of ADR and how the Arts Law mediation service works.

Children in the creative process (ACT)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in the Australian Capital Territory should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises ACT laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (NSW)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in New South Wales should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises NSW laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (NT)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in the Northern Territory should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises NT laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (QLD)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Queensland should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises QLD laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (SA)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in South Australia should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises SA laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. This information sheet must be read in conjunction with the general information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia since that fact sheet explains how the various federal laws operate. This information sheet explains how the South Australia laws relate to you as an artist working with children. It includes information about the employment of children, background checks, pornography and obscenity offences and the application of classification legislation in South Australia.

Children in the creative process (TAS)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Tasmania should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises TAS laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (VIC)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Victoria should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises VIC laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (WA)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Western Australia should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises WA laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process - Australia

Federal, State and Territory laws all impact on how an artist works with children as part of the creative or artistic process. This information sheet looks at Australia’s national laws relevant to working with children including the censorship regime related to the classification of films, computer games and other publications.

This information sheet must be read together with the information sheet that is specific to the state or territory in which the artist is working.

Classification and censorship

Artists should be aware that they might be required to have their works classified. Whether an artist has an obligation to have a particular work classified depends on a number of factors, including the medium of the work, its content and how it is being used.

This Information sheet explains the different classification systems that apply to different types of creative works including films, computer games, publications and artworks as well as the available exemptions such as for festivals. This scheme is administered by the Classification Board. This information sheet also discusses the regulation of content for television, radio and internet by the Australian Communications and Media Authority as well as the voluntary labelling guidelines for audio tapes, records and CDs that have been developed by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and the Australian Music Retailers' Association (AMRA).

Contracts: A glossary of jargon

When negotiating, discussing, entering or arguing about an agreement, a vocabulary of unfamiliar word and expressions may be introduced into the conversation.

This information sheet contains a list of some of the more common legal terms that you might come across in negotiations as well as words and expressions that may appear in an agreement. This information sheet should be read in conjunction with Arts Law’s information sheet Contracts: An introduction

Copyright

Copyright provides a way for artists to protect and monetise their creativity. Knowing how to license copyright and earn a royalty gives artists a way to make money from their work. Knowing what to do if someone makes an unauthorised copy is also vital. This information sheet will introduce you to some of the copyright basics.

Arts Law has a number of sample copyright licences, as well as an information sheet on ‘Copyright infringement and letter of demand”. 

Copyright and moral right infringement by media letter of demand (Visual arts & Photo)

This information sheet explains to visual artists and photographers how to prepare a letter of demand to send to a person or organisation in the media (e.g. a newspaper) who you believe is infringing your copyright and/or moral rights, whether in print or online. The first step is to understand your copyright and moral rights and make a careful assessment as to whether they are being infringed.

Copyright Collecting Societies

Collecting societies collect royalties on behalf of their members. Their members are artists, authors, musicians and other owners of copyright in works (such as music, lyrics, visual art and literature) or other copyright material (such as sound recordings, films, and television broadcasts). They may also be visual artists entitled to resale royalties in respect of their visual artworks.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation which provides a set of free, generic licences which creators of intellectual property can use to distribute their work to the public digitally. It was launched in the United States in 2001 founded on the concept that people can contribute to a shared 'commons' of creative works by effectively giving up certain rights in a copyright work and allowing others freely to use, adapt, modify and distribute this work.

Debt recovery letter of demand

This information sheet explains the function of a letter of demand for debt recovery. It includes a sample letter of demand for the recovery of money following your supply of goods or services (eg. sale of artwork, performance fees) to a person or organisation.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (VIC)

When chasing payment for goods or services, the first step is generally to send a letter of demand to the other party telling them of the dispute and the money outstanding, and giving them a defined period within which to settle the matter or else face legal action.

This information sheet assumes that the contracts under which money is owed are legally enforceable, and that the debts are not subject to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth)or the National Credit Code. If you are unsure, please contact Arts Law on (02) 9356 2566 or toll-free on 1800 221 457.

When chasing payment for goods or services, the first step is generally to send a letter of demand to the other party telling them of the dispute and the money outstanding, and giving them a defined period within which to settle the matter or else face legal action.

When sending a letter of demand, you should be careful not to:

·         harass the debtor – they have the right to complain about this behaviour to particular government agencies and the police; or

·         send a letter which is designed to look like a court document because this is illegal.

A guideline on acceptable and unacceptable debt collection practices is published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) It is available at the ASIC websiteas ASIC Regulatory Guide 96 - Debt collection guideline: for collectors and creditors; and is also available at the ACCC website.

For assistance with drafting This information sheet assumes that the contracts under which money is owed are legally enforceable, and that the debts are not subject to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth)or the National Credit Code. If you are unsure, please contact Arts Law on (02) 9356 2566 or toll-free on 1800 221 457.

Defamation law (for material published after January 2006)

Artists often have questions about whether their work defames someone. This information sheet describes the law of defamation (sometimes called libel or slander) as it applies to work published after January 2006. It explains how to minimise the risk of defamation and what the defences are if you are threatened with a defamation action. 

Defamation law (for material published before January 2006)

Artists often have questions about whether their work defames someone. This information sheet describes the law of defamation (sometimes called libel or slander) as it applies to work published before January 2006. It explains how to minimise the risk of defamation and what the defences are if you are threatened with a defamation action. 

Disclaimers, exclusion clauses and risk warnings

This information explains the difference between a disclaimer and an exclusion clause in a contract and the circumstances when a risk warning should be used. It explains when you should use them, what they mean and the effectiveness of such clauses or statements in limit liability for injury, loss or damage. This information sheet should be read in conjunction with our insurance and liability information sheet.

Freedom of expression

The Australian Constitution does not expressly protect the freedom of expression and there are also limitations that can inhibit creative freedom in some situations, including defamation, anti-vilification, classification and censorship laws and the treason and urging violence offences. 

Liability and insurance

Accidents can happen when you operate a business or conduct your creative activity. It is important you understand your ‘liability’ or legal responsibility to compensate for damage or injury to people and property. This information sheet explains liability, risk management  and insurance. 

Moral rights

Moral rights protect the personal relationship between a creator and their work even if the creator no longer owns the work, or the copyright in the work. Moral rights concern the creator’s right to be properly attributed or credited, and the protection of their work from derogatory treatment. This information sheet provides an overview of moral rights and what constitutes infringement, it should be read in conjunction with the Moral rights infringement and letter of demand information sheet.

Moral rights infringement and letter of demand

Moral rights protect the personal relationship between a creator and their work even if the creator no longer owns the work, or the copyright in the work. If you receive legal advice that your moral rights have been infringed, it may be appropriate to send a letter of demand. This information sheet explains what a letter of demand is and contains a sample letter of demand. This information sheet should be read in conjunction with the information sheet on Moral rights

Patents

Patents are a way of protecting inventions. If you have created a useful product or process, you may be entitled to register a patent. This information sheet provides a description of the types of inventions eligible for patent protection. It also provides an outline of how to apply and who can apply for a patent, as well as information on business method patents.

Social Media for Artists

The Internet provides artists with a platform to access a worldwide audience for their work.  Social media, in particular, is a ready-made do-it-yourself mechanism for distributing, promoting, exhibiting and even selling creative content whether music, visual art, film, literature or other multi-platform art forms. This information sheet addresses the legal issues that can arise for artists using social media to publish their work.

Superannuation and contract for services

This information sheet provides a summary of, and guide to, the superannuation guarantee charge, including the different aspects of superannuation and the responsibilities of employers, employees and self employed workers.

Trade marks

An explanation of who can apply for a trade mark, how to register a trade mark, and what can be registered as a trade mark. An overview of the registration process, reasons why a application may be refused and preventing others to use your trade mark.

 Articles
‘Authentic’ Aboriginal Art - ACCC v Australian Dreamtime Creations

On 21 December 2009 Justice Mansfield in the Federal Court found that Australian Dreamtime Creations Pty Ltd ('Dreamtime Creations') misled consumers by making misleading representations about artworks using Indigenous art styles. The Court held that Dreamtime Creations breached s.52 of the Trade Practices Act ('Act') which prohibits corporations from engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.

Arts Law advocates for Greater Transparency in Fees charged by Copyright Collecting Societies

Arts Law has successfully pursued changes to the information available on the websites of three major Australian collecting societies. We were concerned about the calculation of the commissions they deduct from the royalties collected on behalf of their members.

Elcho Island Arts Centre – when is an export permit required to exhibit artwork overseas?

For over 18 years, the Elcho Island Arts Centre has been supporting and representing indigenous artists from the local Yolngu communities on Elcho Island, Northern Territory.  Traditionally, the Yolngu artists of Elcho Island have always incorporated different fauna and flora species, such as plant fibers and feathers, into their artwork. The women of the Yolngu community are renowned for their weaving skillsand create works of art woven from the fibres of the pandanus plant (pandanus spiralus), which is a species of shrubs that grows on Elcho Island.

From WIPO, Geneva: IGC 19 Report

The 19th session of WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) was held in Geneva, WIPO Headquarters, 18-22 July 2011. We (Trish Adjei and Louise Buckingham) went along as observers for Arts Law. We were also privileged to participate in the Indigenous Caucus during the meeting.

Not Made in Australia Campaign

The past few months have been a busy and exciting time for Solid Arts, a project funded by the Cultural Ministers Council, which is focused around creating a suite of resources on Indigenous Intellectual Property. The project has two main aims: firstly, to make arts-specific legal information more accessible to Indigenous artists and secondly, to increase awareness about Indigenous Intellectual Property amongst the general community, and consumers and commercial operators of Indigenous art.  Stage Two of the project has seen the development and dissemination of a range of new materials directed at meeting these objectives.

Protecting the Sacred Wandjina: the Land and Environment Court goes to the Blue Mountains

In 2010, a gallery in the Blue Mountains in NSW erected a large sculpture featuring Wandjinas, the creation spirit sacred to the Worrora, Wunumbal and Ngarinyin Aboriginal tribes in Western Australia. Artists in the Black was contacted by both the people of the Katoomba area and Mowanjum Arts which represents artists from the three language groups who are the traditional custodians of the Wandjina law and sites of the Western Kimberley. The Dharug and Gundungurra Aboriginal people of the Blue Mountains area were mortified that this conduct was occurring on their traditional lands and felt embarrassed and responsible. All five groups were upset by the unauthorized and disrespectful appropriation of important cultural imagery. They contacted Artists in the Black.

Rock Art - Australia’s Threatened Heritage

Australia's rock art, which is one of the oldest known continuously practised art forms in the world, is at great risk of widespread destruction as a result of unconstrained industrial development.  These works, which consist of carved and painted depictions of Indigenous history and spirituality, have provided important clues regarding the development of art specifically and human evolution generally.  Because there is no single identifiable artist and the works date back thousands of years, far beyond the stipulated duration limits, rock art does not fit comfortably in the traditional frameworks of intellectual property law.

Solids Arts – Respecting and protecting Indigenous intellectual property

In 2010 the Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) was contracted through the Cultural Ministers Council to further develop the Indigenous intellectual property toolkit resource over three years (2010-2012). This project has been titled Solid Arts and will include a resources across a number of mediums.

 Case Studies
Ananguku Arts and Cultural Aboriginal Corporation: Infrastructure Upgrade Program - APY Lands

Ananguku Arts and Culture Aboriginal Corporation (Anaguku Arts) is an Aboriginal owned and governed organisation that assists the professional development of Indigenous artists. Ananguku Arts supports Aboriginal artmaking and cultural maintenance across South Australia, and helps build a dynamic arts industry in South Australia and across Australia. A particular focus is the support of Indigenous community art centres.

Bede Tungutalum and “Owl Man”

Senior Tiwi artist Bede Tungutalum is a painter, carver and printmaker and one of the founders of Tiwi Designs the well known Indigenous screen printing business based on Bathurst Island. In 2004, he approached Artists in the Black after seeing prints of his limited edition linocut work "Owl Man" for sale on the internet and through galleries in Australia.

Donny Woolagoodja

Worora man Donny Woolagoodja is a renowned artist whose giant Wandjina artwork featured at the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He asked Artists in the Black to help him prepare a document which would protect him from being held responsible if participants on his tours were injured and which would also enable him to restrict participants from photographing and publishing images of culturally sensitive sites.

Elcho Island Arts Centre – when is an export permit required to exhibit artwork overseas?

For over 18 years, the Elcho Island Arts Centre has been supporting and representing indigenous artists from the local Yolngu communities on Elcho Island, Northern Territory. Traditionally, the Yolngu artists of Elcho Island have always incorporated different fauna and flora species, such as plant fibers and feathers, into their artwork. The women of the Yolngu community are renowned for their weaving skillsand create works of art woven from the fibres of the pandanus plant (pandanus spiralus), which is a species of shrubs that grows on Elcho Island.

Jilalga Murray-Ranui: Protecting your rights in a public work commission project

Jilalga Murray-Ranui is an Indigenous visual artist who is passionate about producing digital images, paintings, and smaller works of art inspired by the Pilbara landscape, people, animals and lifestyle

In July 2010, Jilalga was approached by Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) to create a large mural on a bridge.  The MAC and the Victorian Department of Transport had entered into an agreement in relation to the creation of a public art work and Jilalga had been retained by MAC to do this work. She was not a party to the agreement between MAC and the Victorian Department of Transport so she was concerned about how that agreement might affect her copyright and her moral rights. 

As an Indigenous artist, Jilalga receives a free subscription to Arts Law which she used to access Arts Law’s Document Review Service. Arts Law arranged for lawyers Jarod Benson and Jessica Karasinski of Minter Ellison to help Jilalga to understand the agreement.

 Jilalga says:

“For me the size of the contract and the wording was very daunting. Arts Law helped me understand it. And they helped me renegotiate parts where I felt uneasy or concerned. Another concern I had was distance between all parties. I lived in Perth, the Victorian Transport department was in Melbourne, Mungabareena was in Wodonga, and then Arts Law was in Sydney. I was worried for a little while about the distance - I felt like I was just one lone artist on the other side of Australia.  But it was reassuring that Arts Law made contact with some Perth lawyers to assist me. I felt good that I had local people on board to help me and that gave me a bit more confidence.”

Jilalga asked the Department of Transport and MAC to consider the amendments suggested by Jarod and Jessica. Those amendments were accepted and the contract was changed in a way that gave much greater protection to Jilalga.

The mural project http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2011/02/10/3135519.htm was unveiled in February 2011. Jilalga reflects on the process:

“Arts Law gives you the confidence to have your say by talking with you, then talking to the other party and negotiating on your behalf if and when you need it. By working with Arts Law, I felt reassured that my rights were worthy, and that my rights deserved to be heard and respected.

I enjoyed the process, all people involved worked positively together. I was so happy about the work I produced for the community, especially the Koorie community. The project was a success for the community, for the organisations involved, and for myself as a practising artist.”

This story demonstrates that it is important for artists to be aware of their rights and to be vigilant with agreements dealing with copyright of an artist, especially when the artist is not a party to the agreement. Artists should consider their moral rights (such as making sure they are named as the artist of the work) and should not be afraid to negotiate to protect their rights.

 

Further resources you might find useful:

-  Arts Law’s information sheets: Contracts: an introduction

-  Arts Law’s sample agreements: Public art: design and commission agreement

Ninuku Arts - Selling works on consignment: chasing payment and negotiating a settlement

Ninuku Arts entered into a consignment agreement with an Adelaide gallery for the sale of 29 artworks by 19 of its artists. Ninuku Arts made many requests for payment for the 6 outstanding paintings, but no response was received. Artists in the Black turned to its long time supporters DLA Phillips Fox in Adelaide (now Fox Tucker Lawyers) for pro bono assistance.

Northern Editions – who owns copyright in museum exhibits?

Northern Editions (http://www.northerneditions.com.au/) is a print-making workshop located at the Charles Darwin University in Darwin. Since 1993, Northern Editions has been collaborating with artists to produce limited edition fine art prints and conducting printmaking workshops on campus and in remote communities with artists from across the Top End, Central Australia, the Kimberley and Queensland.

Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre: recovering artists’ money when a gallery goes bust!

Most visual artists work towards an exhibition at a gallery which takes their work on consignment and tries to sell it on behalf of the artist. The work remains the property of the artist until it’s sold when the gallery takes its commission and pays the rest to the artist. This can work well unless the gallery encounters financial difficulties and goes bankrupt before the artist has been paid.

Wandjina - Protecting Cultural Heritage through council planning laws

In 2010, a gallery in the Blue Mountains in NSW erected a large sculpture featuring Wandjinas, the creation spirit sacred to the Worrora, Wunumbal and Ngarinyin Aboriginal tribes in Western Australia. The Dharug and Gundungurra Aboriginal people of the Blue Mountains area were upset by the unauthorized and disrespectful appropriation of important cultural imagery.

 News & Events
Answers for Artists: a Guide to Basic Legal Issues for Artists 2012 OUT NOW!

Arts Law's new 2012 publication Answers for Artists: a Guide to Basic Legal Issues for Artists has been released in English.

The original 2007 version is available in 2 bi-lingual versions, Chinese/English and Arabic/English.

This is a free resource.

Resale Royalty payments pass $400,000 – Arts Law congratulates the Copyright Agency!!

Resale Royalty payments pass $400,000 – Arts Law congratulates the Copyright Agency!! Copyright Agency Limited has announced that the resale royalty scheme, which was launched last year has been a great success. The number of eligible resales had exceeded 3,600 at the end of March 2012, and over $400,000 in royalties has been paid to artists. The Arts Law Centre of Australia encourages all artists to register with the Copyright Agency, so that they might be contacted when any of their works are eligible for a resale royalty. 

 Audio & Video
World Intellectual Property Organisation

Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO, discusses what the World Intellectual Property Organisation is doing within the context of Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property. Les Malezer, Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, Australia and Marisella Ouma, Executive Director, Kenya Copyright Board also talk about the importance of the worldwide protection of Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural expressions. WIPO is working to address these issues for all Indigenous artists.

Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route

Curtis Taylor and Monique La Fontaine from FORM's Canning Stock Route Project talk about the development of the collection, which forms the basis of the exhibition Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route, which includes around 130 artworks, involving 110 Aboriginal artists and contributors from 10 art and culture centres across 17 remote communities in the Goldfields, Midwest, Pilbara and Kimberley. The collection was acquired by the National Museum of Australia in December 2008. These videos discuss a number of legal issues involved with this project including ICIP, Moral Rights, Copyright and Licensing. Click here to read a written case study about this project.

 Other Organisations
Artists in the Black – Arts Law’s Indigenous service

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) established the Artists in the Black (AITB) service in 2004, in response to the needs of the Indigenous arts community. AITB aims to increase access to advice and information about the legal rights of Indigenous artists, communities and arts organisations. Arts Law provides these services to Indigenous artists in a culturally appropriate way.

Arts Law Centre of Australia

The Arts Law Centre of Australia, a not-for-profit organisation, is the national community legal centre for the arts. It provides legal advice and information on a wide range of arts related legal and business matters including contracts, copyright, business structures, defamation, insurance, employment and taxation to artists and arts organisations across all art forms.

The Arts Law Centre of Australia has a specialised Indigenous service, Artists in the Black. Artists in the Black aims to increase access to advice and information about the legal rights of Indigenous artists and organisations in a culturally appropriate way thanks to the help of Indigenous staff.

ArtsCareer

ArtsCareer is an online professional development hub for artists and educators to access up-to-date career development information from around Australia. ArtsCareer provides resources for artists and educators from all disciplines, including dance, music, visual arts, theatre, writing and inter-arts. Click on an art form category in the left hand menu to get started. The website has been developed by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) in partnership with the arts and educational peak organisations across the country.

Black Book

The Black Book Directory includes more than 2,700 listings of Indigenous organisations and individuals working across 95 professions in the arts, media and cultural industries.

The Black Book Library is constantly evolving to include new artistic works by Indigenous people. It currently contains 2,000 works from the late 1890s until now.

Craft ACT

Craft ACT’s Craft and Design Centre provides a unique service to craft and design practitioners and audiences in Canberra and the region. Craft ACT has been delivering quality cultural programs and recognises the ongoing need of Canberra craft and design artists to have access to: a professional exhibition program; professional development opportunities; promotion and commercial services and; advocacy on behalf of the sector.

Craft Australia

Craft Australia is the peak national advocacy organisation for Australian contemporary craft and design. It actively promotes and provides access to Australian contemporary practice through advocacy, communication and research.

Craft Victoria

Craft Victoria fosters creativity, experimentation and professionalism in contemporary craft and design. The organisation enhances awareness of Australian craft and design at state, national and international levels. As a membership based organisation, Craft Victoria provides support for established and emerging practitioners through professional development and promotional services.

Craftsouth

Craftsouth develops and promotes South Australian craft, design and visual art, with particular emphasis on the professional practitioner.

FORM (WA)

FORM is an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to advocating for and developing creativity in Western Australia. Form has a specific Indigenous program.

UMI Arts

UMI Arts is the peak Indigenous arts and cultural organisation for Far North Queensland. Its mission is to operate an Indigenous organisation that assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to participate in the maintenance, preservation and protection of cultural identity.