Sample Agreements
Auspice Agreement

This sample agreement should be used by a group of individuals who are not incorporated and want to apply for funding from a funding body that will only fund incorporated organisations (like co-operatives, incorporated associations, companies or companies limited by guarantee).

Collaboration Agreement: Visiting Artist (Artists in the Black)

This sample Collaboration Agreement –Visiting Artist should be used when an Indigenous community art centre invites an external non-Indigenous artist to the arts centre to work collaboratively with the art centre’s artists (Local artists) to create a body of work. 

Collaboration Agreement: Volunteer Agreement (Artists in the Black)

Volunteers play an important role in nearly every collaborative art project whether making films, organising festivals or putting on a major exhibition. A written agreement is important to ensure the volunteer understands his or her responsibilities and the policies and protocols that must be respected.

Confidentiality Deed

This sample agreement is included in the information sheet Confidential information – protecting your ideas which explains how to protect ideas and outline the law of confidentiality.

Copyright Licensing Agreement

This sample Copyright Licensing Agreement should be used when a person who owns the copyright in creative content wishes to give permission to another person to use their content (whether a visual artwork, text, music, film or other content) in a particular way.

Creative Hub Participation Letter and Participation Agreement

The administering body of a Creative Hub in NSW can use this sample agreement to sub-licence space in a Creative Hub to an artistic pop-up project. It gives the individual or business a short term right to occupy space in the Creative Hub. 

Debt recovery - Letter of Demand

If you are owed money and it hasn't been paid, the first step is to send a letter of demand. This is a template which you can adapt.

Indigenous Artist and Art Centre Agreement (Artists in the Black)

This sample Indigenous Artist and Art Centre Agreement should be used when a non-profit Indigenous Art Centre operated for the benefit of Indigenous artists in its local community (such as a centre run by a Land Council or an Indigenous Corporation) represents Indigenous artists in connection with the sale of their artwork (Artwork) and the management of their intellectual property. 

Music Compilation Licence for Community Projects

This sample agreement outlines the arrangement between a community or a non-profit organisation and an unsigned artist in which the artist records songs for the first time for inclusion on a compilation album.

Occupancy Licence (Creative Hub)

This sample Occupancy Licence  is  modelled  on  the  successful  Renew  Newcastle  project in which an administrative body (such as a council or non-profit) connects artists, cultural projects and community groups with the owners of vacant buildings. It sets out the terms on which the Administering Body of the Creative Hub permits the artist or community project to occupy premises within the Creative Hub. It should be used in conjunction with the Participation Letter which is also available for FREE individual download below.

Occupancy Licence (Pop Up)

This sample Occupancy Licence (Pop-Up) sets out the terms on which a building owner directly agrees to allow an artist, cultural project or community group to occupy its empty premises for a short period.  Such arrangements nurture creative, artistic and cultural projects and bring life and energy to a local area. While the successful  Renew  Newcastle  project involved an administrative body (such as a council or non-profit) connecting artists, with the owners of vacant buildings, this agreement operates where there is no such overarching supervisory body.


 

Sample Website Terms of Use

These sample Website Terms of Use are for use on websites either with a blog (i.e. a public "discussion board" that allows users to post their comments for others to read and comment on) or a more traditional website without a blog.

Sponsorship Agreement

This sample agreement should be used by artists or arts organisations when obtaining sponsorship for a particular event or activity, such as a festival, performance or exhibition.

Venue Hire Agreement

This sample agreement can be used for hiring a place/space for short period of time.

Volunteer Consent Form

When engaging volunteers it is very important to have an agreement in writing which sets out your obligations, their obligations and creates a mutual understanding that the position will be unpaid.

Workshop Participation Deed

This sample WORKSHOP PARTICIPATION DEED should be used when a person takes part in a workshop in which they will create copyright material, for example by writing text, composing music, creating new dance movement or coming up with new lines for a play, and possibly performs the material created.

Info Sheets
Agency agreements

Actors, musicians and bands often appoint agents or managers to act on their behalf. Visual artists often have a dealer who represents them. The manager or agent can enter into contracts that are binding on the person who appointed them (the principal). There are specific legal rules which apply to these agency relationships.

This information sheet explains what an agency is, how it is created, the authority granted to an agent, an agent's obligations, and the important terms of agency agreements. It also deals with any state legislation that applies to agents, managers and venue consultants in the entertainment industry. Bands and visual artists should also read the Music management checklist and Artist-gallery checklist.

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Binding and Non-binding

Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR refers to processes, other than judicial determination, in which an impartial person assists those in a dispute to resolve the issues between them. ADR can also be used to mean ‘assisted’ or ‘appropriate’ dispute resolution. Learn more about the ADR process.

Artwork Made Using Animal and Plant Material - Australia

Australia has strict laws that aim to protect plants and animals that are threatened, native, vulnerable or endangered. This is a particularly important issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists who often use native seeds, feathers, skins, bones, grasses and woods in their artwork. It can also affect non-Indigenous artists wanting to create artwork using plant and animal matter.

Artwork made using Animal and Plant Material - South Australia

For many artists, plant and animal material form a central part of the artworks that they create. This can raise unique legal issues, as certain plants and animals are subject to strict laws in Australia that change depending on which state you work in.

Artwork made using Animal and Plant Material - Victoria

For many artists, plant and animal material form a central part of the artworks that they create. This can raise unique legal issues, as certain plants and animals are subject to strict laws in Australia, differing depending on which state you work in.

Auspice Agreements

When a group of individuals (the Group) form to carry out a ‘one-off’ project (such as an exhibition, performance or show) they may not want to create a formal legal entity just for that project (such as an incorporated association, co-operative, company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee).

Australian Consumer Law and Creators

An artists has rights which are enforceable under law, and they also have duties to other people. This information sheet explains what ‘liability’ means under the Australian Consumer Law and covers some of the legal duties and obligations that are relevant to artists and creators.

Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission

This information sheet provides an overview of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and some of the consequences of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit organisations Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC Act) for arts organisations that are ‘not-for-profit’ organisations that meet the legal definition of being a ‘charity’. The ACNC Act came into force on 3 December 2012.

This information sheet could be relevant to any institution or organisation that is a public library, public museum or public art gallery or an Indigenous Art Centre or any ‘not-for-profit’ organisation, where that institution or organisation satisfies the legal test of having a charitable purpose that is for the public benefit.

Children in the creative process (ACT)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in the Australian Capital Territory should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises ACT laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (Australia)

Federal, State and Territory laws all impact on how an artist works with children as part of the creative or artistic process. This information sheet looks at Australia’s national laws relevant to working with children including the censorship regime related to the classification of films, computer games and other publications.

This information sheet must be read together with the information sheet that is specific to the state or territory in which the artist is working.

Children in the creative process (NSW)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in New South Wales should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises NSW laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (NT)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in the Northern Territory should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises NT laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (QLD)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Queensland should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises QLD laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (SA)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in South Australia should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises SA laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. This information sheet must be read in conjunction with the general information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia since that fact sheet explains how the various federal laws operate. This information sheet explains how the South Australia laws relate to you as an artist working with children. It includes information about the employment of children, background checks, pornography and obscenity offences and the application of classification legislation in South Australia.

Children in the creative process (TAS)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Tasmania should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises TAS laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (VIC)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Victoria should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises VIC laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Children in the creative process (WA)

When artists work with children, whether as part of a community project or an educational workshop, or where children are actors, performers or models, specific legal obligations and duties arise.

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations in Western Australia should consider when they contemplate working with or using children in any part of the creative or artistic process. It covers the duties of employers and the requirements for police and working with children checks.

It also summarises WA laws relating to child pornography and obscenity.

National laws as well as State and Territory laws are relevant. It is important to read this information sheet in conjunction with the information sheet Children in the creative process – Australia.

Classification and censorship

Artists should be aware that they might be required to have their works classified. Whether an artist has an obligation to have a particular work classified depends on a number of factors, including the medium of the work, its content and how it is being used.

This Information sheet explains the different classification systems that apply to different types of creative works including films, computer games, publications and artworks as well as the available exemptions such as for festivals. This scheme is administered by the Classification Board. This information sheet also discusses the regulation of content for television, radio and internet by the Australian Communications and Media Authority as well as the voluntary labelling guidelines for audio tapes, records and CDs that have been developed by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and the Australian Music Retailers' Association (AMRA).

Competition conditions

This information sheet considers some issues you should consider before entering creative competitions.

Contracts: A glossary of jargon

This information sheet contains a list of some of the more common legal terms that you might come across in negotiations as well as words and expressions that may appear in an agreement. 

Contracts: An Introduction

Contracts can be confusing to get your head around. This information sheet is an introduction to contract basics. 

Contracts: Getting it right

This information sheet explains the requirements for a legally binding contract and discusses some contractual pitfalls, when terms are implied in contracts and the rectification of omissions of terms.

Copyright

Copyright provides a way for artists to protect and monetise their creativity. Knowing how to license copyright and earn a royalty gives artists a way to make money from their work. This information sheet will introduce you to some of the copyright basics.

Copyright Infringement

Learn what copyright infringement looks like and what steps you can take if you think you're copyright has been infringed.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation which provides a set of free, generic licences which creators of intellectual property can use to distribute their work to the public digitally. It was launched in the United States in 2001 founded on the concept that people can contribute to a shared 'commons' of creative works by effectively giving up certain rights in a copyright work and allowing others freely to use, adapt, modify and distribute this work.

Creative enterprise hubs in NSW: Employment issues

Creative Enterprise Hubs are a way forcouncils, communities and local businesses to nurture creative, artistic and cultural projects and enterprises by giving them short term access to unused or abandoned spaces. This brings life and energy back to the area with resulting benefits to local business and residents. Both the body administering the Hub and the arts practices participating in the Hub are likely to work with employees, contractors or volunteers. This information sheet explains the obligations of businesses involved in Creative Enterprise Hubs to their employees, contractors and volunteers.

This information sheet is part of a suite of documents for Creative Enterprise Hubs.

Creative Enterprise Hubs in NSW: Overview

Creative Enterprise Hubs transform empty spaces into arts precincts by facilitating short term access for creative, artistic and cultural projects to unused or abandoned spaces.  Hubs operate in temporarily vacant and low cost or free premises, providing artists and arts groups with creative space and bringing life and energy back to the area with resulting benefits to local business and residents. Arts Law’s suite of documents is part of Arts NSW’s Creative Hub Toolkit designed as a blueprint for councils, local communities and local businesses interested in urban renewal. This information sheet provides an overview of the legal agreements used to set up a Creative Hub and issues participants should consider.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (NT)

An introduction into how one can go about chasing payment that is owning to them in the Northern Territory. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in the Northern Territory.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (QLD)

This information sheet provides an introduction into about how one can chase outstanding payment in Queensland. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in Queensland.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (SA)

This information sheet provides an introduction into about how one can chase outstanding payment in South Australia. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in South Australia.

Debt recovery – small claims procedure (WA)

This information sheet provides an introduction into about how one can chase outstanding payment in Western Australia. It provides clarification on the small claims procedure in Western Australia.

Defamation Law

Artists often have questions about whether their work defames someone. This information sheet describes the law of defamation (sometimes called libel or slander) and explains how to minimise the risk of defamation and what the defences are if you are threatened with a defamation action. 

Disclaimers, exclusion clauses and risk warnings

This information explains the difference between a disclaimer and an exclusion clause in a contract and the circumstances when a risk warning should be used. It explains when you should use them, what they mean and the effectiveness of such clauses or statements in limit liability for injury, loss or damage. This information sheet should be read in conjunction with our insurance and liability information sheet.

Employment Issues (NSW)

This information sheet provides information about employment law in NSW for employees, contractors and volunteers, including employers’ legal obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). 

Freedom of expression

The Australian Constitution does not expressly protect the freedom of expression and there are also limitations that can inhibit creative freedom in some situations, including defamation, anti-vilification, classification and censorship laws and the treason and urging violence offences. 

Intestacy Kit - ACT (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will in the ACT. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - NSW (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - NT (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will in the NT. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - QLD (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - SA (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - TAS (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - VIC (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.

Intestacy Kit - WA (AITB)

This Intestacy Kit has been developed to assist families of Indigenous artists who passed away without making a will. If the artist did leave a will, see the Wills Kit. The development of this resource is made possible through the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and DLA Piper.  

Liability and insurance

Accidents can happen when you operate a business or conduct your creative activity. It is important you understand your ‘liability’ or legal responsibility to compensate for damage or injury to people and property. This information sheet explains liability, risk management  and insurance. 

Moral rights

Moral rights protect the personal relationship between a creator and their work even if the creator no longer owns the work, or the copyright in the work. Moral rights concern the creator’s right to be properly attributed or credited, and the protection of their work from derogatory treatment. 

Patents

Patents are a way of protecting inventions. If you have created a useful product or process, you may be entitled to register a patent. This information sheet provides a description of the types of inventions eligible for patent protection. It also provides an outline of how to apply and who can apply for a patent, as well as information on business method patents.

Public Art - Design and Commissioning

Public art commissions create exciting opportunities for artists, allow Australians to enjoy aesthetically beautiful environments, and stimulate community engagement with the arts. Learn how to get the most benefit to yourself as an artist, your council and your community.

Social Media for Artists

The Internet provides artists with a platform to access a worldwide audience for their work.  Social media, in particular, is a ready-made do-it-yourself mechanism for distributing, promoting, exhibiting and even selling creative content whether music, visual art, film, literature or other multi-platform art forms. This information sheet addresses the legal issues that can arise for artists using social media to publish their work.

Story Telling - Legal Issues (Artists in the Black Resource)

The art of oral story telling is a fluid art form, and legal issues including copyright, moral Rights and Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property can arise. Read on to learn more about protecting your rights in this form of story telling.

Superannuation and contract for services

This information sheet provides a summary of, and guide to, the superannuation guarantee charge, including the different aspects of superannuation and the responsibilities of employers, employees and self employed workers.

Takedown Notice - Copyright

This information sheet explains the purpose of a ‘takedown notice’. It includes the procedure to follow if you believe a website has breached your intellectual property rights and you want the infringing material to be taken down.

Trade marks

An explanation of who can apply for a trade mark, how to register a trade mark, and what can be registered as a trade mark. An overview of the registration process, reasons why a application may be refused and preventing others to use your trade mark.

Website development

This information sheet covers the most important issues that a person should consider and possibly address in a contract when engaging a website developer to create a website.

Articles
Case Studies
Auburn City Council: Best Practice and Licensing Images for Merchandise

Auburn City Council is a vibrant council in the heart of Western Sydney and is host to a unique fusion of cultures from around the world. As the Arts Coordinator at Auburn City Council, Jenny Cheeseman plays an active role in supporting the growth and development of the artistic community, helping local artists to gain access to council resources and link-up with other artists and community partners on joint and individual projects.

Deborah Mills: Sharing a gallery space with other artists

Deborah Mills contacted Arts Law to determine what kind of agreement would be suitable to have in place with external artists for short-term exhibitions. We advised her on this issue and helped her prepare an effective agreement.

News & Events
Benefits of Art for Wellbeing
8th December 2017

We all know that physical exercise has a positive effect on mental health, but a weekly dose of the arts is similarly useful in boosting your overall mood.

Defamed in 140 characters or less
29th February 2016

There’s the old adage which says that ‘Words are free. It’s how you use them, that may cost you’. So how relevant is this saying today? 

Public Art Commissions
5th May 2015

FREE webinar. Have you been commissioned by a council, government authority or property developer to create a public artwork? Or do you work for a public authority or developer wanting to commission an artwork? Did your eyes glaze over at the 20 page contract? Do you understand the insurance issues? Was the artwork successfully completed and installed? This session covers some of the basic legal issues which arise in public artwork commissions including common terms and conditions, and likely problems.

Public Art Commissions (webinar repeat)
5th May 2015

FREE webinar. Have you been commissioned by a council, government authority or property developer to create a public artwork? Or do you work for a public authority or developer wanting to commission an artwork? Did your eyes glaze over at the 20 page contract? Do you understand the insurance issues? Was the artwork successfully completed and installed? This session covers some of the basic legal issues which arise in public artwork commissions including common terms and conditions, and likely problems.

Travelling Places Armidale
10th July 2015

Travelling Places is a series of community workshops focusing on local culture, gathering knowledge and keeping it safe and accessible according to the community’s own protocols. Presented in Partnership with Museums and Galleries NSW.

Travelling Places Moree
10th July 2015

Travelling Places is a series of community workshops focusing on local culture, gathering knowledge and keeping it safe and accessible according to the community’s own protocols. Presented in Partnership with Museums and Galleries NSW.

Travelling Places Western Plains
10th July 2015

Travelling Places is a series of community workshops focusing on local culture, gathering knowledge and keeping it safe and accessible according to the community’s own protocols. Presented in Partnership with Museums and Galleries NSW.

Checklists
Business partnership checklist

This resource includes information on partnerships, including key issues to be considered within a partnership agreement, and a checklist for business partnerships.

Organising a festival checklist

This checklist provides an overview of some of the most important issues you will need to consider when organising a festival. It can be used as the basis for putting together a business plan or your own checklist to be used when putting together the festival.

Guides
Sponsorship agreements guide

Corporate sponsorship is assuming an increasingly important role in the arts. This guide outlines the different forms of sponsorship that an artist or arts organisation may need to seek from a commercial organisation and what should be included in a sponsorship agreement.

Books
Business Structures and Governance: A Practical Guide for the Arts

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) has substantially subsidised this publication for artists, now only $5.00

A practical guide for artists and arts organisations, this book provides a user-friendly guide to the different business structures and governance for arts organisations.

The Arts Insurance Handbook (3rd edition)

A user-friendly guide to the insurance world for artists and non-profit arts organisations. It outlines the various types of insurance cover available and offers tips on what to look out for when buying insurance, reducing insurance costs, public liability and insurance for volunteers, where to shop for insurance and how to make a claim.