24 January

2018 National NAIDOC Poster Competition Review

About Arts Law competition reviews

Arts Law regularly reviews competitions for their terms and conditions dealing with copyright and moral rights, and rates those terms and conditions out of 5 stars. As such, it is a limited review and not a broad review of all terms and conditions including the prize. Entrants should always weigh up Arts Law’s ratings against the prize and possible profile-raising which may result from being a finalist or winner; it may be that a competition with a low star rating awards a wonderful prize! Read more about the rating system here.

By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, artists should be aware that they are entering a legally binding contract.

For more information on competition conditions see our free information sheet here. 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.

January 2018 Arts Law Competition Review

This month Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the 2018 National NAIDOC Poster Competition. Read the Terms and Conditions

The deadline for this competition is 5 February 2018.

Arts Law has rated this competition 4 out of 5 stars. 

This competition, open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists aged 13 and over, is for an artwork to be used to create the 2018 National NAIDOC Poster.

Last year Arts Law raised concerns about the terms and conditions of the NAIDOC’s 2017 Poster Competition, and we are pleased to see that the 2018 terms and conditions are improved and more artist friendly. It is also great that the prize has doubled from $5,000 last year to $10,000 this year!

In return for this prize, the winner is required to grant the Commonwealth a non-exclusive licence to use the winning artwork. While the licence is broad in that it is forever, irrevocable and royalty free, the Commonwealth can only use the licence for certain purposes which are listed as “including”:  in the NAIDOC poster, NAIDOC award ceremony and NAIDOC social media. It would have been better if the purpose was clearly limited to those listed, rather than “including” these purposes. (It is arguable that the Commonwealth can use it for other purposes.) That said, it is a definite improvement on the licence last year’s winner had to give, which was unlimited in purpose.

When it comes to naming the winner, it is excellent that the Commonwealth undertakes to identify the winner on the National NAIDOC Poster. This is also a marked improvement on the 2017 prize terms. In respect of any other purposes, the Commonwealth will reasonably endeavour to identify the winner. It’s a pity that the term doesn’t say that the Commonwealth will always name the artist whenever his / her artwork is used.

Regarding alterations to the artwork, the Commonwealth is required to “reasonably endeavour“ to notify the winner before altering the winning artwork. Arts Law would much prefer a term which says that the winner’s  prior consent must be obtained before any changes are made to the artwork, or at least for any changes beyond those reasonably necessary.

While the terms and conditions could be edited to address the points raised above, entrants should not forget that this is a $10,000 cash prize in return for a non-exclusive (albeit perpetual) licence. As such, overall, Arts Law is pleased with the terms and conditions of this prize and commends the organiser for addressing the main concerns we raised in respect of the 2017 prize terms.

If an artist wishes to obtain advice from us about this competition you can log a query here. Entries close for this competition at 5pm AEDT Monday 5 February 2018.

Further information

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.