Legal advice

If you are an Indigenous artist, Arts Law through our Artists in the Black service can give you legal advice about legal and business matters related to your art practice. Some of the things you might need to talk to us about include:

  • written contracts (agreements),
  • copyright
  • moral rights
  • trade marks
  • business names and structures
  • defamation
  • insurance and employment

We also provide advice to Indigenous arts organisations.

Legal Query Form

If your query is related to copyright you may wish to contact the Australian Copyright Council  for assistance.

If you have already logged a query, we are dealing with all queries in the order we received them. Please be aware that we are currently experiencing lengthy delays in the turnaround time for legal advice but we will keep you posted via email as to the status of your query. Please check this page for updates to our legal advice service.

Once we have processed your query we will call you back. If you would prefer, please phone 1800 221 457 and leave a message, and we will call you back.

Arts Law has an Artists in the Black Coordinator who you will speak with you about your matter. If they are not available one of Arts Law's administration staff can take your request, or we can have the Indigenous Liaison Officer to call you back.

Types of legal advice

Arts Law will deal with your enquiry by providing either telephone legal advice or a document review depending on whether giving you legal advice involves reviewing any documentation.

i. Telephone legal advice

If your enquiry does not involve a document we will take down all the details of your query. After lodging this request an Arts Law lawyer will contact you by telephone and give you legal advice about your query.

The telephone legal advice service is subject to Arts Law’s legal advice guidelines as well as other policies which will be explained to you upon contacting Arts Law.

ii. Document review

If your enquiry involves the review of any document related to your matter, for example a formal contract or an exchange of correspondence, Arts Law recommends the use of its document review service.

Under this service, you send any document which you want explained to you to Arts Law. An Arts Law lawyer (in-house or external volunteer lawyer or law firm acting on behalf of Arts Law) then reviews the document and holds a review consultation with you to explain the document and provide you legal advice in relation to that document.

The document review service is subject to Arts Law’s legal advice guidelines as well as other policies which will be explained to you upon contacting us.

Limits to Arts Law’s legal advice services

In some circumstances, Arts Law is unable to provide assistance even if you are generally eligible for our services. For example, we will not advise you if another party in your dispute or transaction has already contacted us for advice; or if we consider it more appropriate for your matter to be referred elsewhere. Further, Arts Law can only advise on arts-related matters.

In accordance with its mission, Arts Law operates under an "artist first" policy. As a result, we cannot unconditionally provide legal advice to organisations if doing so would later preclude us from advising the artist. In such situations we may, at our discretion, provide best practice advice under our best practice guidelines.