Sample Agreements
Contractor Agreement for Performers

This sample agreement should be used when a performer is being contracted by someone else to perform in a production. If the performer is being engaged as an employee rather than a contractor, Arts Law's Employment Agreement for Performers is more appropriate.

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.

Debt recovery letter of demand

This sample letter of demand can be used for the recovery of money following your supply of goods or services (eg. sale of artwork, performance fees) to a person or organisation.

Employment Agreement for Performers

This sample agreement can be used when a performer is being employed to perform in a production. It may also be adapted for other forms of employment. If the performer is being engaged as a contractor rather than an employee, Arts Law's Contractor Agreement for Performers is more appropriate.

One-off Performance Partnership Deed

This sample deed should be used when a group of performers (dancers) want to form a partnership for the purpose of putting on a one-off show/project/performance.

Performer’s Ongoing Partnership Deed

This sample deed should be used when a group of performers want to form a partnership for the purpose of putting on more than one show/project/performance on an ongoing basis.

Performer’s Release

This sample agreement should be used to ensure that the recipient of the release, for example a producer, is allowed to record and use the performance. It also covers the performer's copyright and moral rights.

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.

Sponsorship Agreement

This sample agreement should be used by artists or arts organisations when obtaining sponsorship for a particular event or activity, such as a festival, performance or exhibition.

Venue Hire Agreement

This sample agreement can be used for hiring a place/space for short period of time.

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
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”.

Australian Consumer Law and Creators

An artists has rights which are enforceable under law, and they also have duties to other people. This information sheet explains what ‘liability’ means under the Australian Consumer Law and covers some of the legal duties and obligations that are relevant to artists and creators.

Authors and Self-Publishing

With the rise of e-books and the popularity of self-publishing, there are now companies that offer self-publishing services such as editing, proofing, and design.If you're feeling like you want more information on the legal issues around this, this information sheet is for you.

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.

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: An Introduction

Contracts can be confusing to get your head around. This information sheet is an introduction to contract basics. 

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. This information sheet will introduce you to some of the copyright basics.

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 – 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 (QLD)

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

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

Artists often have questions about whether their work defames someone. This information sheet describes the law of defamation (sometimes called libel or slander) and 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.

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). 

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. 

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.

Performers’ rights

Actors, circus performers, musicians, dancers and other live performers may have performers’ rights in their performances, read on to learn more about these rights.

Protecting your ideas

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

Public Art - Design and Commissioning

Public art commissions create exciting opportunities for artists, allow Australians to enjoy aesthetically beautiful environments, and stimulate community engagement with the arts. Learn how to get the most benefit to yourself as an artist, your council and your community.

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.

Story Telling - Legal Issues (Artists in the Black Resource)

The art of oral story telling is a fluid art form, and legal issues including copyright, moral Rights and Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property can arise. Read on to learn more about protecting your rights in this form of story telling.

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.

Takedown Notice - Copyright

Learn about the purpose of a ‘takedown notice’. It includes the procedure to follow if you believe a website has breached your intellectual property rights and you want the infringing material to be taken down.

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.

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.

Articles
Copyright in Jokes: Whose Line is it Anyway?

Whilst you are unlikely to run into any trouble telling a few of Seinfeld's jokes to your mates at the pub, the situation may change if you decide to incorporate the jokes into a book, an advertising campaign or your own stand up comedy routine.

Rights for Performers

Performers' moral rights commenced in Australia on 26 July 2007. Deborah Doctor examines the law protecting performers' rights, the new performers' moral rights and the situations in which performers will co-own the copyright in sound recordings of their live performances.

Shall we dance: dancing and copyright law

Dancers and choreographers have to deal with a myriad of legal issues as performers and creators. Katherine Giles examines the basics of dancing and copyright law in Australia.

The Devil in the detail

Competitions provide a necessary forum for artists, especially those embarking on their artistic careers, to advertise and promote their particular talent to a wider audience and to seek and possibly secure future commissioning for their work. For all manner of artists, creating works for and entering competitions at one stage or another in their career is so prevalent as to be considered a rite of passage! Regardless of whether you are entering your first competition or your hundredth, the devil is likely to be found in the competition detail.

This Is Us: Establishing Your Performing Name

So you've found your band members, you've got the instruments, you've come up with some great songs you're ready to show the world - but what's your name? More importantly, how are you going to make sure it stays your name not just for now, but for your future career?

Case Studies
Charles Rolls: Making sense of copyright exceptions - fair dealing and education

Charles Rolls is a performance artist who has developed a school drug and alcohol awareness program for youth incorporating interactive performance and 3D brain scans. The program and performances utilise short clips from popular music videos and photographs of famous celebrities that Charles sources from the internet. He uses these references to prompt discussion about drug and alcohol abuse with the program participants. 

News & Events
Artists in the Black visits the Mid North Coast
16th June 2015

Arts Law, in collaboration with Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance is offering FREE legal advice workshops to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists on the mid north coast this June.

Arts Law Reviews the Terms of Competitions Closing in March 2014
26th February 2014

Prizes and competitions can be a great way for artists to gain recognition and promote themselves however, many people don’t read the fine print or understand what they are agreeing to by entering. Arts Law maintains an ongoing watch over the terms and conditions of prizes and competitions for artists in Australia and internationally. This month, we rate 19 competitions closing in March.

Defamed in 140 characters or less
29th February 2016

There’s the old adage which says that ‘Words are free. It’s how you use them, that may cost you’. So how relevant is this saying today? 

July competitions reviewed by Arts Law
9th July 2014

Art prizes and competitions can be a fantastic way for artists to build their reputation and earn income but do you know what rights you might be giving up simply by entering? Arts Law rates prizes and competitions closing in July out of 5 stars for fairness to artists.

May competitions checked by Arts Law
30th April 2014

Art prizes and competitions can be a fantastic way for artists to build their reputation and earn income but do you know what rights you might be giving up simply by entering? Arts Law rates prizes and competitions closing in May out of 5 stars for fairness to artists. 

Performers Rights to be examined at WIPO
4th May 2012

Australia will be attending the WIPO Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances to be held in Beijing in June this year.

Checklists
Business partnership checklist

This resource includes information on partnerships, including key issues to be considered within a partnership agreement, and a checklist for business partnerships.

Guides
Sponsorship agreements guide

Corporate sponsorship is assuming an increasingly important role in the arts. This guide outlines the different forms of sponsorship that an artist or arts organisation may need to seek from a commercial organisation and what should be included in a sponsorship agreement.

Books
Business Structures and Governance: A Practical Guide for the Arts

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) has substantially subsidised this publication for artists, now only $5.00

A practical guide for artists and arts organisations, this book provides a user-friendly guide to the different business structures and governance for arts organisations.

The Arts Insurance Handbook (2nd edition)

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) has substantially subsidised this publication for artists, now only $5.00

A user-friendly guide to the insurance world for artists and non-profit arts organisations. It outlines the various types of insurance cover available and offers tips on what to look out for when buying insurance, reducing insurance costs, public liability and insurance for volunteers, where to shop for insurance and how to make a claim.

Other Organisations
Ausdance

Ausdance is the national organization for dancers. It provides advocacy for dance, the Ausdance Aon Insurance Scheme, Safe Dance research, dance industry journals and publications, workshops and forums, networking and dance resources.

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)

The Alliance is the union and professional organisation which covers everyone in the media, entertainment, sports and arts industries. There are over 36,000 members which include people working in TV, radio, theatre & film, entertainment venues, recreation grounds, journalists, actors, dancers, sportspeople, cartoonists, photographers, orchestral & opera performers as well as people working in public relations, advertising, book publishing & website production. MEAA can provide information to members about minimum standard hourly rates.

Office of Industrial Relations

Free publications to help employees and employers understand their rights and obligations under NSW industrial legislation. Has information about registering as an agent.