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.

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.

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.

 Info Sheets
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. This information sheet provides an overview of performers’ rights and what constitutes infringement. These rights can be managed through contract, such as Performer’s Release, Session Musician’s Release and One-off Performance Partnership Deed.

 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.

AITB in Far North Queensland (FNQ)

In April 2012 Artists in the Black (AITB) commenced its work in FNQ when we attended the first conference of the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA) in Cairns. Here we were able to give the managers and representatives from the Boards of the Indigenous art centres an idea of the legal issues relevant to their work, as well as the services provided by AITB. IACA then assisted by consulting with the art centres to determine which art centres wanted AITB to visit them and the issues they wanted to find out more about.

Moral Rights and Indigenous Communities

The Commonwealth Government has recently said it will introduce a Copyright Amendment (Indigenous Communal Moral Rights) Bill (ICMR Bill). Currently, there is no legal protection afforded to Indigenous communities to prevent unauthorised and derogatory treatment of works and films that draw on traditional customs or beliefs. Samantha Joseph and Erin Mackay explain the proposed amendments and Arts Law's response.

Musicians in the Black Update

In Balgo in remote north Western Australia, a small group of musicians sit in the exhibition space of Warlayirti Artists Centre  discussing the bands they play in, how they make decisions and what they should call themselves. They like the sound of "The Lost Boys" but think there might be another band somewhere in Queensland using that name. Behind them is the new purpose built recording studio built at the art centre in recognition of the emerging Indigenous musical talent in a community better known for its visual artists – including Eubena Nampitjin, Elizabeth Nyumi, Boxer Milner and  Helicopter Tjungurrayi.

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.

Professor Sally Morgan: the importance of stories.

Sally Morgan is one of Australia's best-known Aboriginal artists and writers.Her first book My Place, published in 1987, is recognised as being a milestone in Indigenous writing. My Place has now sold over half million copies and has been widely published internationally.  In 2003 Arts Law was privileged to have Sally Morgan join our Council of Patrons. Blanch Lake caught up with Sally to talk about her work as an Indigenous writer.

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.

Slow Progress: Report from Geneva on WIPO IGC meeting 15-24 July 2013

In July 2013 Robyn Ayres, Arts Law’s Executive Director, was immersed in the international arena when she attended the 25th meeting of WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) which was focused on further developing the text of the draft instrument on better protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) as well as looking at the future work of the IGC as its two year mandate was coming to an end. Arts Law is engaged in the IGC process because so many of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients have to deal with the issue of lack of protection of their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) on a daily basis.

Solid Arts Update

As part of the Solid Arts project Arts Law has made a series of short films about different issues relevant to Indigenous arts and intellectual property. The films have been produced on behalf of Arts Law by Pauline Clague (Core Films), an Indigenous filmmaker, and are available on the Solid Arts website. Some of the Solid Arts films include:

SOS – Saving The Keeping Place Collection

The only collection of traditional and contemporary Indigenous Australian art assembled and curated by an Indigenous artist is in danger of being torn apart and dismantled. Arts Law clients Gordon and Elaine Syron have spent a lifetime and much personal sacrifice collecting hundreds of works, often supporting young unknown artists who have later found artistic success. Their collection contains works by Clifford Possum, Emily Kngwarreye, Cecil Bowden, Bronwyn Bancroft, well as, of course, works by Gordon himself including his confrontational and iconic "Judgment by his peers".

WIPO’s capacity building tools for Indigenous cultural heritage

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is developing various capacity-building tools to guide indigenous communities as well as museums, archives and other cultural repositories in managing intellectual property (IP) issues when recording, digitising and disseminating intangible cultural heritage, especially 'traditional cultural expressions'. This article reports further on this ongoing work.

 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.

Christine Tschuna - What to do if you don’t get paid – letters of demand

Christine Tschuna is an Wirangu artist with the Ceduna Arts and Cultural Centre. In June 2006 she signed a Licence Reproduction Agreement with a company with produces postcards and tourist memorabilia. After the company stopped returning her calls or emails Christine turned to Artists in the Black for assistance. Arts Law pro bono lawyer Robert Lempens of Camatta Lempens in Adelaide offered to help Christine.

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.

Ilbijerri Theatre Company – copyright ownership and contract

Ilbijerri Theatre Company in Victoria is the longest running Indigenous theatre company in Australia creating innovative contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Ilbijerri asked Artists in the Black to help clarify these issues in a way which recognized and protected the contributions of the workshop participants but also made sure that Ilbijerri had all of the rights it needed to stage a successful production for the public.

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

Lawrence Omeenyo licenses his image for Arts Law’s Christmas card

Artist Lawrence Omeenyo is a painter, sculptor and elder of the Lockhart River Community. He works through the Lockhart River Arts Centre. After Arts Law had worked with the Lockhart River Art Centre drafting wills for their artists, Arts Law decided to approach the art centre to see if it was possible to license one of the artist's images for Arts Law's 2010 Christmas card.

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.

Respect and Protect Indigenous Art and Culture

You can help ensure that Indigenous art and culture is respected and protected

Indigenous Australians’ art and culture is a highly regarded and much publicised feature of Australian society. Commercial operators who deal with Indigenous art, play a key role in ensuring that Indigenous art and culture is respected and appreciated, rather than exploited.

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.

Whitehouse Scores A Master Licensing Deal For its First Album

In June 2011, Arts Law was approached by Grant Saunders aka Sonic Nomad of Sydney band Whitehouse  http://whitehous.bandzoogle.com/fr_home.cfm

Formed in 2006 and boasting an Aboriginal frontline and a Sri-Lankan rhythm section, the band won the Indigenous Emerging Artists grant in 2010 and its self-funded debut album is due for release in late 2011.

Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route

In late 2006, the Perth-based non-profit cultural organisation FORM initiated Ngurra Kuju Walyja – One Country, One People — The Canning Stock Route Project. The project began with modest aims to present an Aboriginal history of the Canning Stock Route through art and oral history and establish economic and professional development opportunities in remote communities. The project quickly grew to unexpected proportions. Within a year 110 Aboriginal artists and contributors were involved from 10 art and culture centres across 17 remote communities in the Goldfields, Pilbara and Kimberley, with a team of nine Aboriginal and five non-Aboriginal co-curators, multimedia crew and cultural advisors. The Canning Stock Route collection, which includes around 130 artworks, was defined by the curatorial team over two years and was acquired by the National Museum of Australia in December 2008.

 News & Events
About Indigenous Cultural & Intellectual Property

The Arts Law Centre is a leading advocate for Indigenous artists. Its Artists in the Black service engages in advocacy and casework and has resulted in widespread benefits within the Indigenous art community with the aim of promoting Australian Indigenous art and ensuring copyright and other rights are upheld. Arts Law has advocated for better protection of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) through its participation at WIPO conferences and ongoing submissions to the Federal government to enact legislative reform on this issue. Arts Law actively participated in the deliberations which lead to the introduction of The Indigenous Art Code recognising that Indigenous visual artists from remote and regional areas are often substantially disadvantaged in commercial negotiations. It has developed best practice standards for businesses and public bodies dealing with Indigenous artists which are promoted through its sample agreements, best practice document review service and educational workshops.

Read Arts Law’s Cultural policy submission

About Wills & Estates

For many artists, their intellectual property in their artistic and creative output is one of the most valuable and enduring assets in their estate. If they pass away intestate, this asset is often neglected or not understand, which can lead not only to a failure to protect the artist’s artistic  legacy, but to unchecked copyright infringements and a loss of value to the artist’s family. This is particularly true for Australia’s Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander artists living in remote and regional areas. Arts Law has delivered educational wills workshops throughout Indigenous communities in all states helping artists to make wills and, through its casework service, assisted many Indigenous families to manage intestate estates. It has campaigned tirelessly for amendment to the discriminatory Western Australian legislation which takes the right to manage the estate of a deceased Aboriginal person away from family and vests it in the Public Trustee. Arts Law also advocates for improved education about the importance of wills and how to draft a will, especially among Indigenous artists and artists from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds.

Bush Band Business

In conjunction with Music NT and Alice Desert Festival, National arts grant fund The Seed is proud to support the 2011 Bush Bands Business.

Bush Bands Business is a series of workshops for Indigenous musicians and technicians who are preparing for the Bush Bands Bash concert, a major live performance event held at the annual Alice Springs Desert Festival.

National Human Rights Action Plan

The Federal Government is developing a National Human Rights Action Plan to outline future action for the promotion and protection of human rights. Part of this Action Plan was the Baseline Study survey on the experience and protection of human rights in Australia. Arts Law contributed a submission identifying issues relevant to the arts.

System Upgrade

Dear Arts Law Supporters,

We are currently doing a system upgrade. As a result, over the next couple of weeks our ability to answer your query as quickly as usual will be affected. We endeavour to get back to our usual response time as soon as we can. Your patience during this period will be greatly appreciated.

Working with Indigenous Artists

A workshop to help understand and implement best practice

Do you work with Indigenous artists and creators or use their work in your resources, products, promotional material etc?

Arts Law will be conducting a workshop for people in Government, the educational sector, libraries, museums, galleries and other institutions whg with Indigenous creatives.

Working with Indigenous Artists

14 December 2012, Adelaide.

Do you work with Indigenous artists and creators or use their work in your resources, products, promotional material etc?

Arts Law will be conducting a workshop for people in Government, the educational sector, libraries, museums, galleries and other institutions whg with Indigenous creatives.

Working with Indigenous Artists - Alice Springs

On Friday 5 October 2012, a workshop to help understand and implement best practice will be conducted

Do you work with Indigenous artists and creators or use their work in your resources, products, promotional material etc?

Arts Law will be conducting a workshop for people in Government, the educational sector, libraries, museums, galleries and other institutions whg with Indigenous creatives.

Working with Indigenous Artists - Brisbane

On Monday 22 October 2012, a workshop to help understand and implement best practice will be conducted

Do you work with Indigenous artists and creators or use their work in your resources, products, promotional material etc?

Arts Law will be conducting a workshop for people in Government, the educational sector, libraries, museums, galleries and other institutions whg with Indigenous creatives.

Working with Indigenous Artists - Sydney

On Monday 15 October 2012, a workshop to help understand and implement best practice will be conducted

Do you work with Indigenous artists and creators or use their work in your resources, products, promotional material etc?

Arts Law will be conducting a workshop for people in Government, the educational sector, libraries, museums, galleries and other institutions whg with Indigenous creatives.

Working with Indigenous Artists - Victoria workshops

On Tuesday 2 October 2012, a workshop to help understand and implement best practice will be conducted

Do you work with Indigenous artists and creators or use their work in your resources, products, promotional material etc?

Arts Law will be conducting a workshop for people in Government, the educational sector, libraries, museums, galleries and other institutions whg with Indigenous creatives.

 Seminar Papers
 Books
Visual Artists and the Law (eBook - PDF format)

A completely revised and updated third edition of Shane Simpson’s seminal book, The Visual Artist and the Law.

Visual Artists and the Law - EPUB format

The EPUB versions of the Visual Artists and the Law eBOOK. 

Here you can download the EPUB versions of publication Visual Artists and the Law.

To go back to the PDF versions click here

Visual Artists and the Law - MOBI format

Here you can download the MOBI versions of publication Visual Artists and the Law.

To go back to the PDF versions click here

X Festival: Do It Yourself Gigs book

X Festival: Do It Yourself Gigs is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in staging their own arts and performance‐based events.

 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.

Public Trustees

All States and territories have a government Public Trustee office which provides will drafting services. There are usually some fees attached to these services either up front or when the estate is administered if the Public Trustee is appointed the executor.

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.

WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge section

WIPO has a Traditional Knowledge section which has been working on a range of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Programs including: