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360 Degree Record Deals
31st December 2008

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.

3D Printing and the Lessons from Napster 3D Printing and the Lessons from Napster
10th September 2014

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.

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Four things I wish I’d asked a lawyer… before I formed my band
30th September 2015

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. 

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A Cancelled Commission Case Study
31st December 2009

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.

A fraction too much friction
30th September 2004

In light of a recent, well publicised literary scandal Katherine Giles discusses important considerations for authors when entering into publishing agreements.

A matter of fact: non-fiction and copyright
30th June 2003

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.

A New National Business Name Registration System A New National Business Name Registration System
11th July 2011

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 WA Aboriginal Art Centres A New Peak Body for WA Aboriginal Art Centres
30th June 2010

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.

A Quick Introduction to Trademarks
11th July 2011

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.

A resale royalty right for Australia
30th June 2009

Viscopy’s Legal Advisor, Virginia Morrison, discusses Australian developments for the introduction of a resale royalty for visual artists.

Access Denied: artists under Australia’s mandatory internet filter
31st March 2010

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'.

Accounting for Artists: Steven Miller profile
30th June 2006

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

Accounting for donations and in-kind support
28th May 2015
  • By Brian Tucker

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.

Adopt a Lawyer Program: Lander & Rogers reflect on one year of the partnership Adopt a Lawyer Program: Lander & Rogers reflect on one year of the partnership
12th November 2014

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.

Advocacy in action at Arts Law
30th June 2009

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.

AITB Education Trip to North Queensland
31st December 2007

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.

AITB in Far North Queensland (FNQ) AITB in Far North Queensland (FNQ)
3rd December 2012

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.

AITB on the Road: Bush Bands Business
29th September 2015
  • By Jacqueline Cornforth

Artists in the Black Coordinator, Jacqueline Cornforth, reports on Arts Law's involvement in the recent Bush Bands Business event.

An Interview with David Page
30th September 2006

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 Fuller Andrew Fuller
13th May 2013

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 Valenti Anika Valenti
13th May 2013

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

Animal rights and artistic freedom
30th June 2003

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.

Art in Prisons - Prisoner’s have rights too! Art in Prisons - Prisoner’s have rights too!
24th June 2013

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. 

Art + Law + Crime
31st December 2007

Anna-lea Russo discusses the legal issues artists should consider when creating an artwork that records or documents criminal activity.

Artists and the GST: The confusion stops here
31st December 2001

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.

Artists Beware of Dealers Selling Fakes Artists Beware of Dealers Selling Fakes
30th June 2010

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.

Artists in the Black Launch
30th September 2004

Samantha Joseph reports on the launch of Arts Law’s Indigenous project, Artists in the Black.

Artists in the Black Service
19th July 2016

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. 

Artists in the Black update Sep 09
30th September 2009

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 2008 Year in Review
31st December 2008

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.

Arts Law 2010 Year in Review
31st December 2010

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 2013 Pro Bono Awards Arts Law 2013 Pro Bono Awards
24th June 2013

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 Comments on ALRC Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in Digital Era
25th November 2013

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 goes to Geneva!
30th September 2007

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.

Arts Law goes to Geneva and WIPO Arts Law goes to Geneva and WIPO
26th September 2012

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 in the Kimberley: a facebook story Arts Law in the Kimberley: a facebook story
21st December 2011

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.

Arts Law in the Northern Territory Arts Law in the Northern Territory
26th September 2011

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.

Arts Law in Vietnam
31st December 2003

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.

Arts Law in Western Australia
31st December 2004

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.

Arts Law Information Night for Sony Tropfest Filmmakers
31st March 2004

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.

Arts Law on the road: Guest writer Adrienne Lyle Arts Law on the road: Guest writer Adrienne Lyle
30th September 2014

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. 

Arts Law responds to the ALRC Copyright Report Arts Law responds to the ALRC Copyright Report
26th March 2014

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 Week in the Northern Territory
31st December 2004

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.

Arts Law Weeks in Sydney and Melbourne a success
30th June 2008

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.

Arts Law’s Black Fashion Project Arts Law’s Black Fashion Project
3rd December 2012

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.

As a matter of FAQ
31st December 2004

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.

Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement
31st March 2004

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.

Australian artist receives damages award for unjustifiable threats of copyright infringement Australian artist receives damages award for unjustifiable threats of copyright infringement
12th April 2012

On 16 March 2012, Justice Collier of the Federal Court handed down her decision in Bell v Steele (No 3).[1]  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.

‘Authentic’ Aboriginal Art - ACCC v Australian Dreamtime Creations
31st March 2010

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.

Author Beware!
30th June 2002

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.

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Better Ask a Lawyer: q&a with Michael Easton
1st October 2015

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. 

Black Fashion Black Fashion
24th June 2013

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.

Book review: Copyright Law and Practice Book review: Copyright Law and Practice
31st December 2007

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
6th June 2013

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.

Bush Band Business 2012 Bush Band Business 2012
26th September 2012

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.

Bush Bands Business – Skills Development for Indigenous Musicians Bush Bands Business – Skills Development for Indigenous Musicians
18th December 2013

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.

Business for charity
30th June 2009

Jo looks at what Word Investments means for arts organisations.

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Camera rolling and… Action! Top 10 legal issues for filmmakers to consider Camera rolling and… Action! Top 10 legal issues for filmmakers to consider
3rd December 2012

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.

Cameras in Public Cameras in Public
24th December 2010

On a warm November evening the Gunnery and 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.

Can ‘Can Art’ navigate legal pitfalls?
31st December 2002

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.

Caveat Artist: Who owns the rights in freelance photos?
31st December 2000

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.

Caveat: Cybersquatting
31st March 2001

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.

Caveat: Visual Artists and Agents: When is a commission payable?
30th June 2001

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.

Caveat: Visual Artists and Warranties and Indemnities
31st March 2001

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.

Changes for PPCA licensors
31st March 2008

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.

Cheaper books? Don’t count on it.
30th September 2009

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.