Prizes and Competitions

National NAIDOC Poster Competition terms

18th February 2013

Arts Law has written to congratulate the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) on the fairness of the National NAIDOC Poster Competition terms and conditions!

As one of its advocacy concerns, Arts Law is committed to encouraging best practice in competitions and prizes, and ensuring the rights of artists are not removed unnecessarily.  Arts Law often contacts competition organisers urging them to amend their terms and conditions to be fairer to entrnats, especially where copyright and moral rights are affected.

We congratulate FaHCSIA and NAIDOC on:

  • clearly stating all property rights remain with the entrants;
  • asking entrants for permission to copy or reproduce their artwork for the purposes of judging only; and
  • for only asking the winner to grant FaHCSIA a non-exclusive worldwide, royalty-free licence.

The only thing we queried was why the non-exclusive licence granted needed to be "permanent, irrevocable and ongoing".

Surely FaHCSIA and NAIDOC won’t want to use work submitted in 2013 in 70 years time!  The winner cannot use their artwork in any exclusive relationship once they have won the competition, which limits that artist’s ability to generate any future income from the artwork.  In addition, with such a broad licence being granted to FaHCSIA, it doesn’t seem fair that the winner shall never gain recompense from the Commonwealth’s usages of the artwork because the licence is permanent, irrevocable and ongoing.  Arts Law suggested it would be more reasonable for FaHCSIA to request a 5 year licence from the winner.

We hope FaHCSIA will consider making the recommended amendment but we give the National NAIDOC Poster Competition 4 out of 5 stars for its terms and conditions!

For more information about competition terms and conditions and what to watch out for, see:

Arts Law's Competition conditions information sheet

Arts Law's Film competitions information sheet