Arts Law regularly reviews the terms and conditions of competitions and rates them out of five stars. Our review looks broadly at the terms and conditions of a competition. In particular, we look closely at how a competition deals with an entrant’s copyright and moral rights and consider this in light of the prize. Entrants should always take into account the possible profile-raising which may result from being a finalist or winner.
By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, entrants should be aware that they may be entering a legally binding contract.
For more information, see our free information sheet on competition conditions. Artists are welcome to contact Arts Law for legal advice on the terms of a competition. We also invite competition organisers to contact Arts Law for best practice assistance to make their terms and conditions fairer for artists.
Please note: Prior to February 2018, Arts Law’s rated out of five stars only the terms of a competition which dealt with copyright and moral rights using our previous rating systems. Arts Law’s competition reviews are now more holistic, such that our rating out of five stars now reflects a broad review of all the terms and conditions of the competition.
The deadline for this competition is 5:00pm Monday 4 June 2018.
This competition is open to Australian permanent residents aged 12 to 21 years of age.
Arts Law has rated this competition 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Arts Law previously rated these terms and conditions in 2015. This year, Arts Law made suggestions to Artology to make the terms and conditions more artist friendly, and we are delighted that Artology largely took on board our suggestions.
Artology’s Fanfare competition requires entrants to submit a score and recording of an original thirty second composition ‘that is an attention-grabbing musical fanfare’.
There will be eight winners and the prizes for each are, in sum: a sound recording of their entry, a workshop with professional composers, rehearsal and recording sessions and playing of recordings of the compositions at venues as the ‘bell cue’ for audiences to take their seats.
Arts Law is pleased with the way these terms and conditions deal with the composers’ copyright. Firstly, all entrants retain their copyright in their compositions. Secondly, only winners grant a copyright licence to Artology which we are happy to see is a non-exclusive licence limited for the non-commercial purpose of promoting the competition. It’s great that the winners are free to license the use of their compositions to others, and it’s fair that Artology can only use it to promote their competition. However, there is no time limit on the licence – Artology can use it forever. It would have been fairer if it were limited to a reasonable length of time, such as to five years, as it’s unlikely a competition organiser would need to reproduce the entries after a reasonable period of time has passed.
Artology will own the copyright in the sound recordings it makes of each winner’s composition, which we consider acceptable in the circumstances. It’s great to see that Artology will grant the winners permission to use the sound recording of their composition for their own promotional (non-commercial) purposes.
When it comes to the winner’s moral rights, the terms and conditions could be improved. Composers have legal rights to be attributed for their work, and to control any changes to their work which could harm the integrity of their reputation (such as edits made to a composition). It is a pity that the terms are silent on moral rights. To make them more artist friendly, there could be a positive undertaking by Artology to always credit the composers, or at least where reasonable. For example, it would not be unreasonable to credit the composers on Artology’s website or in programs. There should also be a positive obligation in the terms and conditions that Artology will seek a composer’s prior consent before making any substantial changes and alterations to their composition.
Arts Law’s high rating for this competition considers the prizes and the unique profile-raising opportunity for young composers. As stated on the website: ‘Imagine hearing your music played by the Australian Youth Orchestra and broadcast at venues around Australia! If you are a budding composer or musician then the Fanfare Competition is an exciting opportunity for you.’ For a perfect rating, the terms and conditions could be improved to address the areas we identified above (i.e. restricting the licence to a shorter period and addressing the composer’s moral rights).
Arts Law was particularly impressed with Artology’s willingness to listen to our suggestions to improve its terms and conditions, which demonstrates its commitment to dealing positively with composers’ rights.
You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.
Please email us at [email protected] to tell us about any competitions or prizes you think we should check.
See more about Arts Law's campaign to improve competition terms and conditions in the Prizes and Competitions section.