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 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.
This month, Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the 2018 Betta Milk Burnie Wearable Paper Art Competition in Tasmania.
The deadline for this competition is 5 March 2018 and entries are open to artists worldwide who are 18 years old and over.
Read the terms and conditions of this competition here.
Arts Law has rated this competition four out of five stars.
This is a biennial competition for wearable clothing consisting of at least 80% paper. We understand that the competition reflects the paper making history of Burnie in Tasmania.
The prizes range from $5,000 for the Major Award, $1,500 for the Runner Up Award, and $500 for the Public Vote Award. Selected works will be paraded at the award evening on 15 June 2018 and may be exhibited at Burnie Regional Art Gallery from June to July 2018. This is a wonderful opportunity for selected entrants.
How does this competition deal with entrant’s copyright and moral rights? Selected entrants must agree to allow images of their works to be reproduced in promotional material associated with the competition and for future archival and non-commercial usage. This is a perpetual copyright licence limited to these particular purposes. It would be better if the licence for “future non-commercial usage” were expressly limited to being “in association with the competition”. However, overall, this term is fair and makes sense, and is actually great profile-raising for selected entrants. It’s not clear how many entrants will be selected, but we understand it to mean that even if you don’t win a prize, but are a selected entrant, images of your work may be used to promote the competition. By way of example, we note that the competition website displays images of works from previous years.
Turning to a creator’s moral right to be credited, it is excellent that the terms clearly state that attribution will be made.
Entrants should however be aware that if their works aren’t collected by 30 August 2018, Burnie Arts Council may use or dispose of their work as it determines. This is a rather tight deadline and it would no doubt be very distressing for an artist if this were to transpire. However, the term does allow for negotiating other arrangements around collection.
Entrants should also note that it seems the competition organiser is not offering insurance for the works. We would have preferred to see a term which provides insurance against loss or damage while the works are at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery.
As an aside, entry forms must be accompanied by a concept design sketch and three images of previous examples of work. There may be copyright in these materials, and so for clarity there should be a term around what the competition organiser can and can’t do with these materials. There should also be term dealing with return of the materials.
For a perfect rating, the terms and conditions dealing with collection and insurance could have been improved as well as expressly limiting future non-commercial use of images of the works to use associated with the competition.
Overall, Arts Law is pleased with the terms and conditions of this competition.
You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.
Please email us 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.