In the face of declining record sales, record companies are presenting some artists with 360 degree deals, enabling the record company to share in revenue traditionally only collected by artists. This article looks at the arguments for and against these deals and what artists should consider before signing them.
Just before the beginning of the new millennium, in May 1999, teenagers Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker launched the program that would change the business model of the music industry forever. In May of the following year, Napster had 20 million users and shared millions of songs worldwide. Napster’s fall from fame was equally meteoric, as record companies and famous artists alike filed lawsuits against Napster for copyright infringement and in February 2001 the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Napster to start charging for songs or else close entirely. But by then the genie was already out of the bottle.
Today in Australia, both government and industry are continuing to come to terms with the file-sharing revolution. As file sharing spreads to the world of 3D objects, Arts Law, investigates the potential issues facing artists and designers alike in the current legal climate.
Ivan Vizintin was Arts Law’s paralegal in 2015, responsible for administering legal queries from artists and arts organisations. He’s also a professional musician. Here, Ivan and Arts Law’s Senior Solicitor, Morris Averill, discuss the issues he wish he’d known about when he was first starting out.
Rod Nash was shocked when a Sydney council told him to stop work on the sculpture they had commissioned him to make for a public library. He was suddenly lumbered with the rather large, unfinished, site-specific sculpture for which he had not yet been paid.
In light of a recent, well publicised literary scandal Katherine Giles discusses important considerations for authors when entering into publishing agreements.
Writers and filmmakers will often rely on research material when creating a new work. While it is certainly possible to infringe copyright in non-fiction works, copyright will not be infringed merely because the facts dealt with in the non-fiction work are incorporated into the later work.
Businesses currently need to register their business name within each of the States or Territories that they operate within. Many business owners find this a cumbersome process. In March this year a plan was released to establish a national business name registration system. The Australian government has introduced a draft Bill called the Business Name Registration Bill 2011 and two associated Bills, with the system proposed to commence in mid 2012. This project is a joint initiative between the State and Territory and Federal governments. Implementation and the commencement of the national system is dependant on the States passing legislation to put the system into place.
A new peak body for Aboriginal art centres in Western Australia has been established by Country Arts WA. Arts Law was contracted to deliver a series of workshops to its members over May and June.
The Arts Law Centre of Australia recently secured the registration of its trade marks, namely 'ARTS LAW CENTRE OF AUSTRALIA', 'ART + LAW' and 'ART + LAW' together with its logo. This article highlights the importance of securing protection of brands for any business and outlines the process of registering a trade mark, which is not necessarily a straight forward process.
Viscopy’s Legal Advisor, Virginia Morrison, discusses Australian developments for the introduction of a resale royalty for visual artists.
Katherine Giles reports on the outcome of a moral rights matter, where the right of integrity had been infringed.
Suzanne Derry explains the new ACCC Indigenous art and craft fact sheets.
Over the past year, digital Australia has been blogging and tweeting about the federal government's decision to impose a mandatory filter over the internet. Such a measure, so Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says, is aimed at preventing children from being exposed to obscene material, particularly child pornography, online. The filter will implemented through legislation forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites containing material 'refused classification'.
Leah Domanski asked Arts Law board treasurer, chartered accountant, and self confessed lover and collector of fine arts, Steven Miller, some questions about the advice he gives to Australian artists and arts organisations
I’ve had quite a few enquiries about how Charities or Not-for-Profit organisations can leverage their Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to maximise the tax advantages for people who want to help them e.g. by providing in-kind support or making a donation.
Joel Barrett discusses some artistic practices in which the artist incorporates other people's copyrighted material without infringing the copyright in that material.
In April 2013, Arts Law launched its pro bono lawyer program, “Adopt a Lawyer”, which pairs an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community with a law firm for a three year partnership. Lander & Rogers and Warmun Art Centre were partnered together at the beginning of 2014. The Adopt a lawyer program aims to strengthen the existing Artists in the Black support of Indigenous art centres by facilitating a relationship between an arts centre and an individual law firm.
Earlier this year, the federal Government undertook a national consultation with the community about human rights in Australia and whether Australia should have a national charter of human rights. An independent committee was set up to engage with the community and listen to what they have to say about human rights.
Artists in the Black in association with Umi Arts, the North Queensland art centre, spent a week in September this year presenting education workshops on legal issues for Indigenous artists.
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.
Artists in the Black Coordinator, Jacqueline Cornforth, reports on Arts Law's involvement in the recent Bush Bands Business event.
David Page is a performer, composer and a patron of the Arts Law Centre of Australia. Blanch Lake recently interviewed David about his work.
Andrew is a lawyer who provides advice to businesses in the creative industries, musicians, publishers, filmmakers, festivals, fashion designers and songwriters, as well as consultancy advice to arts grant applicants. He was previously the General Manager of Business & Legal Affairs | Digital Services for Shock Entertainment and Senior Legal Counsel for Roadshow Films. Andrew is a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Arts Law Centre volunteer lawyer advice panel in Victoria. Andrew is an elected board member of Music Victoria, the state’s peak body for contemporary music.
Anika is a Solicitor at the Arts Law Centre of Australia and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Curtin University and an LLB from the University of NSW.
Anika is a former film and television producer, production manager and coordinator having worked on various film and television drama productions since 1999 including ‘The Circuit’, ‘The Black Balloon’ and ‘The Sleepover Club’. In 2008 Anika decided to study law, and after graduating in 2010, returned to film and television working as an in-house legal consultant at Screen NSW and the First Australian Completion Bond Company. Anika joined Arts Law in September 2012
With many thorny questions about the intersection of animal rights and artistic freedom, Arts Law decided to approach performance artist Mike Parr and ethicist Simon Longstaff for comment.
Appropriation in art gained recent media attention following the awarding of the 2010 Wynne Prize to Sam Leach. This article outlines some of the copyright and consumer protection issues facing artists in the context of appropriation.
Ann Johnson dicusses the law surrounding children in entertainment industry.
An edited speech by The Hon Justice Michael Kirby at Arts Law's 20th Anniversary Celebration.
Arts Law is currently in the process of creating a positions paper that considers the law and policy relating to the creation of artistic works in Australian prisons.
Anna-lea Russo discusses the legal issues artists should consider when creating an artwork that records or documents criminal activity.
Recent police closure of the sexually explicit French film Baise Moi and the ensuing community debate reminds us of the severity of censorship and importance of sensible classification regimes within society.
We examine the situation of artists who are not GST registered.
We asked Steven Miller from Steven J Miller and Co. some common questions that artists have regarding the GST. His answers will help artists (and lawyers alike) to remove lingering confusion about how the GST affects them and their arts practices.
A Victorian Supreme Court case in March 2010 brings hope to artists seeking to protect their reputations against art dealers selling fake artworks. The case, Blackman v Gant, involved eminent Australian artists Charles Blackman and Robert Dickerson bringing action against the art dealer who sold fake artworks under their names.
If an artwork, blog or podcast is downloaded off the public internet and used in a school, university or TAFE, the copyright owner may be entitled to a royalty. Read on to understand when you might be entitled to claim.
Serena Armstrong celebrates the many and varied achievements of the Artists in the Black Program in 2008.
Robyn Ayres outlines the focus of activities for Artists in the Black in 2009.
Samantha Joseph reports on the launch of Arts Law’s Indigenous project, Artists in the Black.
Artists in the Black (AITB) is a legal service for Indigenous artists, communities and arts organisations. It was established by the Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) in 2004 in response to the needs of the Indigenous arts community.
As part of the Artists in the Black program, Arts Law has been extremely busy speaking to Indigenous artists around Australia educating them about copyright and how to protect their artworks. Here are a few of our recent activities.
Arts Law's Artists in the Black Coordinator, Jacqueline Cornforth, reports on her recent outreach work in Western Australia.
The Commonwealth government has introduced new laws regarding unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contracts. These new laws came into effect on 1 July 2010.
Executive Director, Robyn Ayres, looks back on a big year at Arts Law.
Executive Director, Robyn Ayres, reports on another big year at Arts Law.
Executive Director Robyn Ayres sums up a busy year.
Executive Director Robyn Ayres reflects on the achievements of the Arts Law team for 2008, recognising the huge input of our pro bono lawyers, volunteers, board members, staff and associates.
Robyn Ayres reviews 2009 at Arts Law.
Each year I try to provide a snapshot of what we have achieved over the last 12 months. Everyone at Arts Law would agree that we often overstretch ourselves but it is because the need in the arts community is so great and we prefer to say "yes" rather than "no".
Arts Law 2011 Year in Review
On Wednesday 29th May 2013, Arts Law celebrated the pro bono work of lawyers around the country who give back through their pro bono work in the arts community. For the last 9 years, Arts Law has commissioned a print to award to 30 lawyers celebrating their significant pro bono contribution.
Arts Law has successfully pursued changes to the information available on the websites of three major Australian collecting societies. We were concerned about the calculation of the commissions they deduct from the royalties collected on behalf of their members.
Delwyn Everard and Patricia Adjei discuss the recent settlement reached by Indigenous artist, Mandy Davis, in a copyright and moral rights infringement matter.
The outstanding work of Arts Law and DLA Phillips Fox was recognised when they were awarded the 2008 the Pro Bono Partnership Award by the Law and Justice Foundation
Arts Law recently made a submission in response to the Law Reform Commission’s inquiry on privacyto ensure the rights of artists are not overlooked. As a society we are reliant on the records and stories captured by artists to understand and connect to our past and present. Without these, our ability to tell our nation’s stories could be irreparably eroded.
Arts Law’s Indigenous solicitor Patricia Adjei and Executive Director Robyn Ayres attended the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) 11th session Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore held in Geneva, Switzerland on 3-12 July 2007.
WIPO members continue to debate a new treaty for the protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions. Arts Law’s Executive Director, Robyn Ayres, who participated in the 22nd meeting of WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Traditional Cultural Expressions, reports here.
Arts Law's facebook page already has 466 fans and is a source of current news on legal and political issues affecting the Australian and international arts industries as well as keeping you up-to-date on new resources available from Arts Law.
In mid-September Arts Law senior solicitor Delwyn Everard and Aboriginal Liaison Officer Shian Se'l-Barker travelled through the Northern Territory on a trip advising Indigenous musicians and artists. Here Shian recounts the experience.
After presenting to a Vietnamese delegation late last year, our Executive Director was invited to deliver a seminar series on copyright and performers’ rights for people working in arts management in Vietnam.
In September, Arts Law staff spent three weeks in Western Australia providing free educational workshops on legal issues for creators. The workshops addressed a variety of arts law issues including copyright, moral rights, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual property (ICIP), licensing, contracts and business structures.
Sony Tropfest, together with industry partners, the Arts Law Centre and the NSW Film & Television Office (FTO) held a legal seminar/information night in December 2003 at the Gaelic Club in Sydney for all prospective Tropfest filmmakers.
Over the first few weeks of September, the Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) hit the road visiting various remote and rural communities across Australia to deliver workshops, seminars and advice clinics to assist and educate artists to understand and protect their rights.
Adrienne is one of the Legal Counsel in the Finance and Strategy/Treasury team at Telstra and is the fifth lawyer from Telstra’s legal team to volunteer with Artists in the Black’s wills project. Telstra’s generous pro bono support covered all her costs and made a substantial contribution to the costs of the trip overall. Without the support of organisations like Telstra, this work would be severely compromised. Here are Adrienne’s reflections on her trip with Artists in the Black.
On 13 February 2014, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released its final report on Copyright in the Digital Economy.
Most controversially, the report recommends the introduction of fair use in Australia as a defence to copyright infringement replacing the current fair dealing exceptions.
Arts Law has rated the terms and conditions of 7 competitions closing in November 2014 out of 5 stars. These ratings are based on a review of the terms and conditions which relate to the entrant’s copyright and moral rights. Read more about the rating system here.
Arts Law is lobbying the West Australian Government for changes to the laws concerning the administration of the estate of intestate Indigenous people. Delwyn Everard explains why these changes are required.
From 25 to 29 August 2008, Arts Law through its Artists in the Black service wrote wills for 36 Indigenous artists on Melville Island. Serena Armstrong reflects on the success of the trip.
Arts Law continued its efforts at bringing legal education and services to artists in regional and remote communities. Suzanne Derry writes about two recent trips.
In October Blanch Lake (Aboriginal Information/Liaison Officer) and Ant Horn (Solicitor) visited Alice Springs and Darwin. It was a chance to promote “Artists in the Black” and offer seminars and one-on-one legal advice to Territory artists.
Report on Arts Law weeks in ACT, WA and NT.
Each year Arts Law runs a large number of seminars and workshops around the country that are designed to give artists in all disciplines practical legal and business advice. From 31 March to 5 April we ran Arts Law Week Sydney, featuring a range of sessions including ones on copyright, contracts, privacy and festivals. Nearly all of the events were free thanks to funding from the City of Sydney.
Read all about our achievements in 2013 and why we need your ongoing support.
Arts Law has developed a suite of legal documents associated with ethical collaborative agreements between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and designers who wish to work and create together. Together, these agreements form part of Arts Law’s Black Fashion project and have been supported by funding from Arts Queensland.
Arts Law provides telephone legal advice services to artists and arts organisations throughout Australia. This is a free or low cost service for individual artists and arts organisations.
Since the start of the year Arts Law has given advice to nearly 2500 Australian artists. These enquiries have covered a broad range of legal issues from debt to defamation, copyright to commercial leases and we thought it would be worth looking back at some of this year’s FAQs.
The first draft of the Australia – United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) (concluded on 8 February 2004) was released to the Australian public on Thursday, 4 March 2004.
On 16 March 2012, Justice Collier of the Federal Court handed down her decision in Bell v Steele (No 3). Her Honour awarded Aboriginal activist artist, Richard Bell, damages of $147,000 for unjustifiable threats in relation to copyright.
The decision sets an important precedent. As far as we are aware, this is the first time damages have been awarded where a third party had content removed from the Internet without legal justification. In light of this decision, if a person falsely tells a file-sharing or social media website that they own copyright in an image or movie to have it taken down, and in fact that is not the case, it could be actionable as an unjustifiable threat.
Happy New (Financial) Year! Just a reminder to all charities that unless you are registered for calendar year reporting, all ACNC Annual Information Statement reports, as well as financial reports if you are a medium or large charity, should have been submitted by 30 June.
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.
Earlier this year Arts Law was contacted by a number of authors who wanted advice about their rights to royalties for sales of their books. Problems arose when the authors received letters from a new Australian publishing company, explaining that the first publishing house's business had been sold to the new company but without any obligation for the new company to continue paying royalties to the authors for sales of their books.
Joanna Kamath reports on some of her experiences as a volunteer law student at Arts Law.
Following the success of the sold-out ‘Laughs for Arts’ comedy night earlier this year, the Hearts for Arts Law fundraising committee held its inaugural ‘Band Together for Arts Law’ gig night on 22 October 2014 at FBi Social.
Michael’s a lawyer with over 17 years experience in media, entertainment, commercial and intellectual property law. He previously worked for the ABC and now runs his own specialist practice.
There is a lot of excitement around the variety of Indigenous fashion and textile projects that are blossoming around the country. The momentum has been building for a number of years and several of the creative outcomes are being showcased. It seems the time is ripe for Black Fashion in Australia.
Rebecca Ward reviews Lynne Spender’s book Between the Lines: A Legal Guide for Writers and Illustrators, published by Keesing Press.
Copyright Law and Practice is written by a leader in the field of copyright law, Colin Golvan SC, and is focused on specific and practical examples of copyright law.
Brianna Munting is the Brokerage and Strategy Manager for NAVA. She has previously held the positions of Curator for the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Assistant Curator at Gallery 4a. Her work has always focused on highlighting and valuing the arts and arts practitioners who generate inspiration and social change. She continues to be interested and involved in places, projects and events that inspire difference, in rethinking the significance and meaning of visual art in Australia. She has completed a BA in Communications Social Inquiry at UTS and a Masters in Art Administration at COFA, UNSW.
In 2012, Artists in the Black (AITB) was invited again by Music NT to participate in Bush Bands Business (BBBiz). Held at the breathtaking Ross River Resort, Bush Bands Business is the professional development and mentoring program for the eight Indigenous bush bands chosen to perform at the Bash in Alice Springs during the annual Desert Festival.
In September 2013, Delwyn Everard and Donna Carstens travelled to the beautiful surrounds of Ross River near Alice Springs to participate in the Bush Bands Business camp. This is the third consecutive year that Arts Law’s Artists in the Black program has partnered with Music NT in a unique professional development program for Indigenous bands.
Jo looks at what Word Investments means for arts organisations.
Filmmaking is a highly creative process involving the intense collaboration of a vast number of people in order for a production to be completed successfully, on budget and on time. Before getting the show on the road, a number of legal issues have to be considered by the filmmakers. As essential as a camera, these legal issues are key to the exploitability of the film and the protection of the filmmakers themselves.
In this article, Arts Law outlines the Top 10 legal issues all filmmakers should contemplate prior to commencing the creative filmmaking process.
On a warm November evening Arts Law played host to some forty artists (and a few lawyers) for the event Cameras In Public. With the tone set by a t-shirt with the slogan, "I'm a photographer not a criminal" the next two hours were filled with illuminating – and often very lively – discussion.
The prevalence of graffiti on the street and corporate funded festivals for spray- can art are an interesting mixture of illegal and legal manifestations of the same art-form. Arts Law recently advised on the legal issues involved in using graffiti or spray can art.
Arts Law often received calls from freelance photographers on the question of who owns copyright in commissioned photos. A lot of commissioners automatically assume they own copyright in the work they commission, as well as owning the negatives, but this is simply not the case.
As an artist your name and reputation are essential to the promotion of you and your artwork, and it is therefore essential that you are aware of the use of domain names and the issue of cybersquatting.
The question of when a gallery is entitled to claim commission on artist sales is a frequent cause of confusion and contention. It is an issue that can, and should be, clarified at the outset of the artist-gallery relationship so that both the artist and the gallery are clear about when the gallery is entitled to a share of income from sales.
A number of visual artists have recently approached Arts Law with concerns about art commission agreements they were asked to sign. Their agreements contained a term asking them to warrant that their work did not infringe anyone's rights and to indemnify the commissioner against any claims arising out of their work.
Serena Armstrong explains some changes to PPCA agreements and sets out the new Arts Law resources available to help people understand and comply with the changes.
After a long legal battle in the US, Google’s Library Project, which has scanned over 20 million books, is held to be “fair use”. But, the story isn’t over yet, as the Author’s Guild prepares to bring an appeal to protect the interests of authors.
Cheaper books - it's a great carrot to dangle in favour of parallel importation, but are things really that simple? Australian author Nick Earls thinks not.