Category: Music

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”.

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Direct licensing guidelines: sound recordings

This information sheet provides information about the direct licensing guidelines/policy that all PPCA licensors must have and contains additional information about licensing of sound recordings. For a sample Direct Licensing Guidelines please download the PDF.

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Limitations on Freedom of Expression

This information sheet aims to introduce artists to the limitations they are most likely to be confronted with or ought to consider. While these limitations do exist, Arts Law encourages artists to seek legal advice regarding specific queries before opting not to create or exclude certain expression from their artistic work.

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Music – Bands and recording artists

This information sheet explains the rights in musical works and sound recordings and describes how composers, 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.

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Performers’ rights

This information sheet outlines the rights held by performers.

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Protecting your ideas

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

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Protecting your professional name

This information sheet provides an overview on professional names, including the steps you can take to protect your professional name.

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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.

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Popular information sheets

  • 1. 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.

    View here.

  • 2. 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.

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  • 3. 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”. 

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  • 4. Debt recovery – small claims procedure (NSW)

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

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  • 5. Legal issues for bloggers

    This information sheet addresses the main legal issues that can arise from online web-based publications, web logs, diaries or newsletters posted on a website by individuals, organisations, businesses or communities.

    View here.

  • 6. 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.

    View here.

  • 7. Copyright infringement and letter of demand

    This information sheet explains the function of a letter of demand for infringement of copyright. It includes a sample letter of demand for copyright infringement.

    View here.

  • 8. 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.

    View here.

  • 9. 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.

    View here.

  • 10. Exclusion clauses, disclaimers and risk warnings

    This information sheet explains what these terms are, when you are likely to use them or come across them and the effectiveness of such statements.

    View here.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this web site may contain images of deceased people.