Sample Agreements - Artists in the Black
Art Centre and Art Gallery Umbrella Consignment Agreement

This sample ART CENTRE AND ART GALLERY UMBRELLA CONSIGNMENT AGREEMENT should be used when an Indigenous Art Centre (Art Centre) provides works of art (Artwork) on consignment to a third party gallery (Gallery) for exhibition and sale.

Art Centre IP Toolkit

This Art Centre Toolkit has been developed specifically for Indigenous Art Centres and includes template policies and agreements which cover licensing, Intellectual Property and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).

Copyright Agency Agreement Between Artist and Art Centre – Supplementary

This sample Supplementary Copyright Agency Agreement Between Artist and Art Centre should be used when there is a current membership agreement between the art centre and its member artists (either written or unwritten) which doesn’t clearly give the art centre authority to act as the artist’s agent for copyright licensing purposes.

Cultural and Intellectual Property Policy for Academic Research

This sample Cultural and Intellectual Property Policy for Academic Research should be used by an Indigenous Art Centre as a best practice policy in relation to any research conducted by a individuals or institutions external to the community which seeks access to the Art Centre or its member artists, whether publically or privately funded and whether for commercial or non-profit purposes.

Cultural and Intellectual Property Policy for Festivals and Performances

This sample Cultural and Intellectual Property Policy for Festivals and Performances should be used by an Indigenous Art Centre as a best practice policy in relation to all festivals or performances involving traditional forms of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural traditional expression and knowledge which are hosted or staged by, or involve the Arts Centre.

Cultural and Intellectual Property Policy for Indigenous Stories

This sample Cultural and Intellectual Property Policy for Indigenous Stories should be used by an Indigenous Art Centre as a best practice policy in relation to the recording or transcribing for any purpose of traditional stories told by members of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island language group.

Employment Agreement for Indigenous Art Centre Manager (New)

This sample Indigenous Art Centre Manger Employment Agreement should be used when an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Art Centre employs a new person in the role of art centre manager or promotes someone to the manager position from a different role.

Image Reproduction Licence for a Business Logo for an Aboriginal Art Centre

This sample agreement should be used when an Indigenous community art centre wants to create a business logo from an existing Indigenous artworkby one of its member artists.  If a business other than the Artist’s own art centre wishes to use the Artwork as a business logo, a more detailed licence agreement is appropriate.

Indigenous Artist and Art Centre Member Agreement

This sample agreement has been developed for Indigenous Art Centres to use with its artists members where the Art Centre sells the work of the artist on consignment and provides services to the Artist.

Indigenous Artwork Reproduction Licence for fabric

Developed as part of Arts Law’s Black Fashion Project (with thanks to Arts Queensland), this sample agreement can be used where an Indigenous artwork is reproduced onto fabric. See also the Indigenous Collaboration Agreement – Fashion and Furnishings.

Indigenous Artwork Reproduction Licence for Merchandise (Art Centre)

This sample Indigenous Artwork Reproduction Licence for Merchandise (Art Centre) should be used when the Art Centre wants to use an image of an existing Indigenous artwork (such as a painting, print or drawing) on merchandise to be sold by the art centre. This sample agreement complies with the Indigenous Art Code.

Indigenous Artwork Reproductions Licence for a Publication (Print)

This sample agreement should be used when someone wants to use an image of an existing Indigenous artwork (such as a painting, a print, a drawing, a photograph or a still multimedia image) in a print publication (such as a book, postcard, corporate brochure, book or poster).

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.

Language Agreements and Protocol Guidelines (FATSILC) - FREE

These sample language agreements and protocol guidelines are aimed at assisting Indigenous communities and their consultants (schools, linguists, anthropologists, ICT specialists) through the process of developing and using language materials at a local level.

Will for Indigenous visual artists - FREE

This sample Will for Indigenous Artists has been developed to encourage Indigenous artists to consider what will happen to their artworks, property and copyright when they pass away, and provide guidance for those who decide to make a will.

Info Sheets - Artists in the Black
Artwork Licensing Toolkit for Indigenous Art Centres

This information sheet explains how art centres can systematically manage copyright licensing requests for the use of artists’ work. It describes the various sample agreements contained in the Art Centre IP Licensing Toolkit. It can be used in conjunction with the suggested Copyright Licence Fee Schedules (available for separate purchase).

Purchase the Artwork IP Licensing Toolkit here.

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.

Certificates of Authenticity

The authenticity of an Aboriginal artwork is important not only for ethical and legal reasons but because it has significant value in the art market. The problem facing Aboriginal artists and communities is how to protect authentic artwork from rip offs made by non-Indigenous people.

Contracts

This information sheet gives you an understanding of what a contract is and how to protect yourself when making contracts.

Copyright

This information sheet describes what copyright is and how you can use it to protect your artistic work.

Governance

Governance is about how to run a healthy organisation. This information sheet describes the fundamentals of good governance and provides links to further resources.

Indigenous Art Code Compliance Table

This information sheet outlines the main aspects of the Indigenous Art Code Compliance Table for Indigenous Art Centres.

© Arts Law Centre of Australia 2012

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.

Licensing

This information sheet explains the different types of licences and how they operate.

Moral Rights

This information sheet gives a brief introduction to the moral rights of an artist.

Solid Arts - Copyright And Wills

This fact sheet provides information about:

  • reasons for an artist to have a will;
  • what a will can say, copyright arrangements that can be set out in a will;
  • where to find a sample will;
  • how to change a will.
Solid Arts - Drama, Performance And Dance

This fact sheet provides information on:

  • the nature of copyright in dramatic works;
  • the rights of copyright owners;
  • when to get permission from the copyright owner;
  • exceptions to the need to get permission;
  • duration of copyright;
  • royalties;
  • resources.
Solid Arts - Introduction To Intellectual Property

This fact sheet introduces:

  • intellectual property laws;
  • Indigenous heritage and Indigenous cultural and intellectual property;
  • problems encountered by Indigenous people seeking to protect their art and culture using intellectual property laws;
  • creative ways to maximise legal protection, such as notices; and
  • international developments relating to Indigenous intellectual property and policy.
Solid Arts - Media Arts

This fact sheet provides information on:

  • the nature of copyright in media art;
  • the rights of copyright owners in media art; 
  • when to get permission from the copyright owner of media art;
  • exceptions to the need to get permission;
  • duration of copyright in media art;
  • issues for using Indigenous arts in media art;
  • Indigenous protocols; and
  • resources.
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
     
Info Sheets - ArtsLaw
Crowdfunding Music Projects

The guides to successful crowdfunding draw attention to the advantages of offering ‘rewards’ or ‘perks’ linked to the project as a way of enhancing the attraction of your project.  Arts Law’s Crowdfunding information sheet helps you understand what you can do (and what can get you into trouble) if you are a Australian band or recording artist engaging in crowdfunding for your next recording session, video, tour or any other creative project.

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”.

Auspicing Agreements

Many funding bodies will not make grants to individuals or unincorporated bodies unless they are auspiced. This information sheet explains what an auspicing arrangement is, how auspicing agreements work and issues to consider when entering into such an arrangement.

Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission

This information sheet provides an overview of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and some of the consequences of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit organisations Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC Act) for arts organisations that are ‘not-for-profit’ organisations that meet the legal definition of being a ‘charity’. The ACNC Act came into force on 3 December 2012.

This information sheet could be relevant to any institution or organisation that is a public library, public museum or public art gallery or an Indigenous Art Centre or any ‘not-for-profit’ organisation, where that institution or organisation satisfies the legal test of having a charitable purpose that is for the public benefit.

Business Structures for Filmmakers

Filmmaking can be undertaken by one person, or a small group, or with an extensive cast and production and post-production crew managed by a number of ‘producers’ with different job descriptions and titles. The choice of a business structure will be influenced by the complexity of the production and the risk of things going wrong in the production. This information sheet considers the advantages and disadvantages of the following business structures: operating as a sole trader; as a partnership; and as a company. Each of these business structures will be considered as well as the procedure for establishing each business structure.

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).

Competition conditions

This information sheet considers some issues you should consider before entering creative competitions.

Computer Game Design and Development

Creating games raises a myriad of legal issues. Learn how to protect rights and when to use our sample agreements Game Development Services Agreement, Game Loan Agreement, Music Commission Agreement for Games and Music Licence for Games.

Computer Games - legal issues for creative designers

This information sheet addresses legal issues that can arise when creating computer games, including the copyright in the various elements that make up a computer game such as the artistic works and the computer programs that operate the game. The discussion of copyright covers the use of ‘authoring’ programs and the need for games developers to have appropriate contracts with employees, independent contractors or unpaid volunteers.

This information sheet also discusses copyright in ‘user generated content’ and how ownership of ‘user generated content’, ‘End User Licence Agreements’ (EULAs) and the ‘terms of use’ of a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORG).

Arts Law has a suite of agreements suitable for games design and development here.

Contracts: A glossary of jargon

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. 

Contracts: Getting it write/right

This information sheet also explains the requirements for a legally binding contract. They include a clear offer; the acceptance of that offer; the exchange something of value (known as ‘consideration’); and the intention to enter into a contractual relationship. There also needs to be certainty as to the important matters that each party is promising to do or to refrain from doing for a contract to be enforced by a court of law.

It provides some basic contract tips to help you to negotiate and end up with an agreement that is a binding legal commitment. Arts Law recommends artists read this information sheet before using any of our sample agreements. This information sheet should also be read in conjunction with Arts Law’s information sheet “Contracts: A glossary of jargon”. 

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. Members are artists, authors, musicians and other owners of copyright in works (such as lyrics, visual art and literature) or other copyright material (such as sound recordings, films, and television broadcasts). 

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.

Creative enterprise hubs in NSW: Employment issues

Creative Enterprise Hubs are a way forcouncils, communities and local businesses to nurture creative, artistic and cultural projects and enterprises by giving them short term access to unused or abandoned spaces. This brings life and energy back to the area with resulting benefits to local business and residents. Both the body administering the Hub and the arts practices participating in the Hub are likely to work with employees, contractors or volunteers. This information sheet explains the obligations of businesses involved in Creative Enterprise Hubs to their employees, contractors and volunteers.

This information sheet is part of a suite of documents for Creative Enterprise Hubs.

Creative Enterprise Hubs in NSW: Overview

Creative Enterprise Hubs transform empty spaces into arts precincts by facilitating short term access for creative, artistic and cultural projects to unused or abandoned spaces.  Hubs operate in temporarily vacant and low cost or free premises, providing artists and arts groups with creative space and bringing life and energy back to the area with resulting benefits to local business and residents. Arts Law’s suite of documents is part of Arts NSW’s Creative Hub Toolkit designed as a blueprint for councils, local communities and local businesses interested in urban renewal. This information sheet provides an overview of the legal agreements used to set up a Creative Hub and issues participants should consider.

Creative Enterprise Hubs: Sample Documents Checklist

Urban renewal by setting up a Creative Enterprise Hub enabling arts projects to occupy abandoned or vacant premises for a short term involves a series of formal legal agreements between the body administering the Hub, the building owners and those with suitable creative projects. In NSW, the requirements of the Retail Leases Act 1994 must be addressed. This information sheet provides information about when and how to use the sample agreements in Arts Law’s Creative Enterprise Hubs NSW toolkit. It explains the contractual documents necessary to formalise the relationship between promoters of creative enterprise hubs and property owners or participants in the Hub. It should be read in conjunction with Arts Law’s information sheet Creative Enterprise Hubs in NSW: Overview.

Cross platform creativity – online and digital media

Artists now have a vast range of opportunities for across all mediums to express their ideas, fund their projects, create and distribute their works, and interact with their audience. This information sheet addresses the legal issues that can arise for creators working with and across multiple platforms.

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 (NT)

An introduction into how one can go about chasing payment that is owning to them in the Northern Territory. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in the Northern Territory.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (SA)

This information sheet provides an introduction into about how one can chase outstanding payment in South Australia. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in South Australia.

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 website as ASIC Regulatory Guide 96 - Debt collection guideline: for collectors and creditors; and is also available at the ACCC website.

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.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (WA)

This information sheet provides an introduction into about how one can chase outstanding payment in Western Australia. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in Western Australia.

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. 

Direct Licensing Guidelines

This information sheet is for small Australian record companies and independent artists that have an input agreement with the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). All record companies and independent artists that are PPCA licensors must have direct licensing guidelines that outline the circumstances in which they may directly licence public performance and transmission rights for their sound recordings. This information sheet includes sample Direct Licensing Guidelines. All PPCA licensors are entitled to free legal advice from Arts Law about their guidelines and input agreements. For advice, lodge a query here.

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.

Employment Issues (NSW)

This information sheet provides information about employment law in NSW for employees, contractors and volunteers, including employers’ legal obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). 

Film competitions

Entering a film competition creates a binding contract between the film maker and the competition organiser and it is important to understand the competition’s terms and conditions. 

Film Financing

This information sheet looks at domestic and international sources of funding for film, television and games developers including both funding by way of grants (e.g. Screen Australia) or investment. Free-to-air broadcasters and pay television channels may provide partial funding for film and television programming. Film distributors may assist in the financing of feature films and distributors and publishers of computer games are possible sources of financing for computer games. A number of funding options exist, including the “Producer Offset”/ “Producer Rebate” scheme, and private avenues such as crowd funding. Each of these funding options is explored in more detail in this information sheet. Arts Law has a sample Film Loan Agreement and a Games Loan Agreement which may be relevant.

Film Location Releases

If you are filming on private property or in a public space (such as a park or council land), you may need a film location release. This information sheet when and why a film location release is important. Information is also provided on which parties should be contacted to obtain film location releases. Arts Law has two sample film location deeds of release (with payment and without payment).

Filming in Public Places

This information sheet outlines the legal issues film makers should consider when shooting in public places, including filming live performances and public figures, whether they are filming or recording copyright material (e.g. graffiti, logos, music) and whether their film may be defamatory.

Filming with a smartphone or hidden camera

Making films on a smartphone or using surveillance and listening devices raises important issues such as consent and privacy. This information sheet discusses what artists or arts organisations need to know when planning to film with a smartphone or hidden camera. 

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. 

Legal Issues for Bloggers

Posting or publishing written work online, whether on your personal or artist website, on  social media (including Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) or via a blog can create a number of legal issues including copyright, defamation or trade practices. This information sheet discusses some of these issues and should be read with our information sheet entitled Writers & authors: useful resources.

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

Music Copyright and Publishing for Bands and Recording Artists

Composers, lyricists, independent recording artists and bands that own the copyright in their music can derive income through the licensing and performance of their compositions and sound recordings. This information sheet explains music copyright and royalties, the role of collecting societies such as APRA/AMCOS and PPCA, and music publishing. Sample agreements that may be relevant include Music Recording agreements guide, Music Studio Recording Agreement for Unsigned Artists and Session Musician’s release

Musicians and composers: useful resources

This information sheet lists resources, including sample agreements, which musicians, composers, songwriters and bands may find useful. It includes a brief description of the different music copyright collecting societies including APRA|AMCOS and PPCA,  the resources available on the website of the Arts Law Centre of Australia and relevant national and state music organisations.

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.

Performers’ rights

Actors, circus performers, musicians, dancers and other live performers may have performers’ rights in their performances. These rights include the right to control the recording and broadcast of live performances, limited copyright in certain sound recordings of live performances and moral rights. 

Protecting your designs

Information sheet outlining how you can protect your designs under the copyright regime and the design regime.

Protecting your ideas

How to protect ideas and an outline of confidentiality law. This information sheet includes a sample confidentiality agreement.

Putting Your Film or Photo Online

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations should consider when planning to put films and photos online.

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.

Street photographer’s rights

Can I take a photograph in public that contains images of people I don’t know? Can I take a photo of a famous landmark or of the front of someone’s house and later sell it?

This information sheet aims to provide you with the answers to these and other questions that may arise when you are taking photographs in and of public spaces. It also aims to provide those you encounter with a statement of your rights to minimise the possibility of harassment or threatened legal action. So carry this in your pocket and be prepared.

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.

Telling people’s stories on film

Film makers sometimes choose to base their stories on real events and real people. Documentaries are one example of film makers telling the stories of real people. This information sheet includes a sample confidentiality agreement here.

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.

Unauthorised use of your image

This information sheet addresses unauthorised uses of your image, outlining that there is no specific law in Australia aimed at preventing this from happening. It suggests areas of law that may be used to try and stop an unauthorised use of your image.

Using brands and products in film

This information sheet covers the legal issues as well as the money-making opportunities that exist when placing products in films.

Website development

This information sheet covers the most important issues that a person should consider and possibly address in a contract when engaging a website developer to create a website.

Writers and authors: useful resources

This information sheet lists resources, including sample agreements, which authors, writers and illustrators may find useful. It includes a brief description of the different resources available from other useful organisations.

Info Comics
Contracts

A contract is an exchange of promises ("something for something") that is legally enforceable. Contracts can also be called "agreements".

Copyright

This comic provides information about what to do when someone infringes your copyright.

Moral Rights

This comic provides information about how your moral rights might be infringed and what to do about it.