Sample Agreements
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 Licence for Collecting Institutions

This sample Copyright Licence for Collecting Institutions agreement should be used when a museum or other institution holding a collection of artefacts or artworks, including cinematographic or multimedia works or works of artistic craftsmanship or other copyright materials, wishes to make and publish a digital copy of a work for the purpose of facilitating public access to its collection.

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.

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.

Film Cast & Crew Agreement (with deferred fees)

This sample CAST & CREW AGREEMENT (WITH DEFERRED FEES) should be used when a producer (Producer) is engaging cast or crew members (Contractor), as independent contractors rather than employees, for the production of a very low (or no) budget film or video. It is for the situation where the producer has no means of paying cast and crew prior to a commercial release and where it is possible that there may not be a commercial release opportunity in the foreseeable future.

This sample agreement includes the most common terms which the Producer and the Contractor need to consider and agree.

This agreement can also be purchased as part of the Film/Video Sample Agreements Pack – Option B (No Budget) for a discounted price.

Film Cast Agreement (without deferred fees)

This sample Cast Agreement (without deferred fees) should be used when a producer who is not a member of Screen Producers Australia (SPA) is engaging cast members for the production of a low budget film or video.This sample Cast Agreement (without deferred fees) should be used when a producer who is not a member of Screen Producers Australia (SPA) is engaging cast members for the production of a low budget film or video.

Film Crew Agreement (without deferred fees)

This sample CREW AGREEMENT (WITHOUT DEFERRED FEES) should be used when a producer who is not a member of Screen Producers Australia (SPA) is engaging crew members for the production of a low budget film or video.

Film Loan Agreement

This sample Film Loan Agreement letter should be used on a very low budget or no budget film when the film maker or film makers wants to borrow a small amount of money from a private individual (not a bank or government agency or funding body). The loan is not due for repayment until the film earns revenue and it is intended to be interest free until a specified repayment date.

Film Location Deed of Release (no payment)

Use this when a film producer wants to shoot a film (including a video) on private property. If a producer fails to obtain a Location Release, the producer could be liable in trespass or for doing other things for which there are legal consequences. If shooting on public properties see our info sheet Filming in Public Places.

Film Location Deed of Release (with payment)

Use this when a film producer wants to shoot a film (including a video) on private property. If a producer fails to obtain a Location Release, the producer could be liable in trespass or for doing other things for which there are legal consequences. If shooting on public properties see our info sheet Filming in Public Places.

Film/Video Partnership Deed

This outlines what needs to be considered, both creatively and financially, when a partnership is formed to collaborate on a specific film or video project, and the parties agree to share all expenses, profits and losses associated with the film. Partners could be co-producers, or the producer and, for example, director or writer.

Interviewee’s Release (With Payment)

This sample Interviewee's Release (With payment) should be used when an interviewer or producer wishes to film or record interviews with another person whether for use in a research project, museum exhibition, film or radio project, or any other purpose.    

Music Commission for Film

This sample agreement covers the fundamentals of how a producer commissions a screen composer to create an original score for a film or video.

Music Licence for Film

This sample agreement is used when a producer wants to synchronise existing music and an existing master tape of the music to a soundtrack for a video or film. It is appropriate when the composer of the music owns the copyright in both the music and lyrics.

Option and Purchase Agreement

This sample agreement should be used when a filmmaker's wishes to secure the exclusive rights to develop a book, play or other existing into a film.

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.

Video Production Agreement

This sample agreement should be used when a producer or production company is commissioned to produce a video program for purposes such as promotion, education or instruction.

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.

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.

Business Structures for Filmmakers

Filmmaking can be undertaken by one person, or a small group, or with an extensive cast and production and post-production crew managed by a number of ‘producers’ with different job descriptions and titles. The choice of a business structure will be influenced by the complexity of the production and the risk of things going wrong in the production. This information sheet considers the advantages and disadvantages of the following business structures: operating as a sole trader; as a partnership; and as a company. Each of these business structures will be considered as well as the procedure for establishing each business structure.

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 Collecting Societies

Collecting societies collect royalties on behalf of their members. Members are artists, authors, musicians and other owners of copyright in works (such as lyrics, visual art and literature) or other copyright material (such as sound recordings, films, and television broadcasts). 

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.

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). 

Film competitions

Entering a film competition creates a binding contract between the film maker and the competition organiser and it is important to understand the competition’s terms and conditions. 

Film Financing

A number of funding options exist for film makers, including the “Producer Offset”/ “Producer Rebate” scheme, and private avenues such as crowd funding. Each of these funding options is explored in more detail in this information sheet. Arts Law has a sample Film Loan Agreement and a Games Loan Agreement which may be relevant.

Film Location Releases

If you are filming on private property or in a public space (such as a park or council land), you may need a film location release. This information sheet when and why a film location release is important. Information is also provided on which parties should be contacted to obtain film location releases. Arts Law has two sample film location deeds of release (with payment and without payment).

Filming in Public Places

This information sheet outlines the legal issues film makers should consider when shooting in public places, including filming live performances and public figures, whether they are filming or recording copyright material (e.g. graffiti, logos, music) and whether their film may be defamatory.

Filming with a smartphone or hidden camera

Making films on a smartphone or using surveillance and listening devices raises important issues such as consent and privacy. This information sheet discusses what artists or arts organisations need to know when planning to film with a smartphone or hidden camera. 

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. 

New Media - Issues for creators working across multiple platforms

This information sheet addresses the legal issues that can arise for artists, and especially filmmakers, creating multi-platform works and provides necessary information concerning what steps can/should be taken by multi-platform creators to protect and secure their rights. 

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.

Performers’ rights

Actors, circus performers, musicians, dancers and other live performers may have performers’ rights in their performances, read on to learn more about these rights.

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.

Putting Your Film or Photo Online

This information sheet outlines the legal issues artists or arts organisations should consider when planning to put films and photos online.

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.

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.

Telling people’s stories on film

Film makers sometimes choose to base their stories on real events and real people. Documentaries are one example of film makers telling the stories of real people.

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.

Unauthorised use of your image

This information sheet addresses unauthorised uses of your image, outlining that there is no specific law in Australia aimed at preventing this from happening. It suggests areas of law that may be used to try and stop an unauthorised use of your image.

Using brands and products in film

This information sheet covers the legal issues as well as the money-making opportunities that exist when placing products in films.

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
Art + Law + Crime

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

Camera rolling and… Action! Top 10 legal issues for filmmakers to consider

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

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.

Copyright in Jokes: Whose Line is it Anyway?

Whilst you are unlikely to run into any trouble telling a few of Seinfeld's jokes to your mates at the pub, the situation may change if you decide to incorporate the jokes into a book, an advertising campaign or your own stand up comedy routine.

Defending Your Film Online

James Heller discusses digital fingerprinting and gives some quick tips for protecting your film on the internet

Deferred Payments

Deferred payments allow low-budget filmmakers to produce films when they don't have the resources to pay the cast and crew upfront. The producer and the cast and crew agree that the cast and crew will be paid only if, and when, the film is commercially exploited and a revenue stream is created.

Do the rights thing

Before you embark on producing your short or low budget feature, you should be aware that there are a few legal hoops you need to jump through in order to create and exhibit it. This article looks at the issue of obtaining rights and releases.

Fear factor: films and the copyright clearance jungle

Director/producer Katy Chevigny tells aspiring filmmakers that the only film you can make cheaply, and not have to worry about rights clearance is about your grandma, yourself, or your dog. Kimberlee Weatherall looks at the copyright costs involved in filmmaking.

Film & defamation update

In the recent decision of O'Neill v Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Roar Film Pty Ltd and Davie [2005] TASSC (22 April 2005) the Supreme Court of Tasmania considered whether the reputation of a criminal can be lowered, to found a claim for defamation.  Joanna Kamath reports.

Funding a Film through Product Placement

Characters in films eat, drink and wear clothes (sometimes). If they are eating, drinking and wearing branded or recognisable products you may be able to negotiate a product placement deal with the brand to subsidise the cost of producing your film

Games, Television and Downloads

Katherine Giles, Alison Patchett, Lauren Mason and Samantha Joseph provide an overview of some of the important arts-related cases of 2005.

Getting Mobile with Distribution

Simone Brandon outlines new laws that affect mobile phone content and the opportunities for artists to distribute their work via mobile phones.

Keeping The Fun In Funding

Local, State and Federal Government in Australia provide grants to artists, organisations and spaces such as galleries to acknowledge artistic expression as an important freedom of individuals and to support and develop artists and creative industries. This article will discuss how a Funded Organisation can take some simple steps to maximise the exposure of their work whilst minimising the risk of losing funding or having their work censored.

Liability Insurance: know the basics!

There are some simple steps that can be taken by you to help ensure that you obtain proper cover and that you are not disqualifying yourself from cover because of your subsequent conduct.

Low Budget Films – contracts with cast and crew

Making films with a very low budget or no budget at all is a challenge which faces lots of Arts Law's clients. Films are made with borrowed cameras, friends step in as actors and technicians, the script is a one page plot line that evolves as filming progresses, and often the only perk is a round of drinks at the local pub when it's finally in the can. No one expects to make any money but everyone dreams that maybe this film might go somewhere. Sound familiar?

Pitching Your Idea

If you have come up with an amazing idea for a film, television production, book or play and are keen to pitch it to potential publishers, producers or funders, take a moment to think about the best way to do it. It is important to protect your rights, while also maximising your chances of success.

Protocols For Working With Children

In this article Serena Armstrong and Suzanne Derry outline the main provisions in the Australia Council’s Protocols for working with children in art.

Putting Your Indie Short Film on the Internet

Putting your film online can give you worldwide exposure. If all goes well you might get picked up for a distribution or development deal. But what should you look out for when you submit?

Q&As for filmmakers

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) regularly advises filmmakers on a wide range of legal issues affecting their arts practice, such as copyright, trade marks, or telling real stories. This is the first instalment of questions and answers that Arts Law lawyers deal with most often, either as part of the telephone legal advice or document review service they provide, or in the context of education seminars they deliver.

Roadshow Films v iiNet - A Very Brief Summary

Some of our readers may have followed the Roadshow Films v iiNet case with interest, read about it in the papers, or tweeted about it. The Full Court agreed that iiNet was not liable for its users' copyright infringements via the BitTorrent file sharing network. However, it is clear from the appeal decision that the iiNet case will not be the last word on ISP responsibility for online copyright infringement.

The Devil in the detail

Competitions provide a necessary forum for artists, especially those embarking on their artistic careers, to advertise and promote their particular talent to a wider audience and to seek and possibly secure future commissioning for their work. For all manner of artists, creating works for and entering competitions at one stage or another in their career is so prevalent as to be considered a rite of passage! Regardless of whether you are entering your first competition or your hundredth, the devil is likely to be found in the competition detail.

The Legal Issues Arising When Using Children in the Creative Process

In Australia when using children in the creative process it is necessary to balance the interests of an artist and the interests of the children they work with. So if you are working with, or using, children in any part of the creative or artistic process, what are the legal rules that apply?

The Rights Stuff

The issue of ownership, control over and remuneration from the product of one's labour has been one that performers have had to fight to defend since time immemorial. Over the years Australian performers have for the most part succeeded in this regard, collectively negotiating a significant number of rights through the agreements Equity have reached with producers.

You talkin’ ‘bout me? Basing stories on people’s lives

Arts Law regularly receives queries relating to people wanting either to write about a member of their family or community, or depict a person they know or don’t know in a film. The issue that arises is, how does the law regulate one person publishing a story about another person?

Case Studies
Switchflick Productions: getting permission to use archival images & footage in a documentary

Switchflick Productions is the brainchild of Sophia Himi and Vivian Wong (pictured above; reproduced with permission), co-directors who produced a documentary about a renowned Former First Lady in Southeast Asia.

The duo contacted Arts Law in relation to issues they were having with securing archival images and footage from the former First Lady’s public life, held in an international Archive. Sophia and Vivian were concerned that amendments to their own standard copyright clearance form required by the Archive would result in their film being published or reproduced without their permission. They were also concerned about unspecified copying costs required by the Archive.

News & Events
Arts Law and Kino!
31st March 2016

We presented a short seminar in March for filmmakers at Kino Sydney's #104 Open Screen Film Night - it was a hoot!

Arts Law Reviews the Terms of Competitions Closing in March 2014
26th February 2014

Prizes and competitions can be a great way for artists to gain recognition and promote themselves however, many people don’t read the fine print or understand what they are agreeing to by entering. Arts Law maintains an ongoing watch over the terms and conditions of prizes and competitions for artists in Australia and internationally. This month, we rate 19 competitions closing in March.

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? 

Directors’ copyright
30th July 2005

Arts Law made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee on the need to broaden the very limited rights to copyright for film directors that the Government proposed in June 2005.

Film and Law Seminar - WA
1st August 2011

Arts Law will be presenting a Film and the Law seminar at the Film and Television Institute of Western Australia. Wednesday 17 August 2011 - FREE.

Film Law and Business Essentials Workshop
8th April 2013

Everything you need to know about the business of film

DATE: Saturday 4 May 2013, 10am - 5pm

WHERE: Iris Cinema, 13 Morphett Street, Adelaide

Are you a filmmaker in Adelaide?  Arts Law, in partnership with the Media Resource Centre, will be conducting a 1 day film law and business workshop in Adelaide.

Film Workshops
2nd July 2013

The Arts Law Centre of Australia have been running law workshops for filmmakers and screen practitioners around Australia and now they are heading to Brisbane for a free two day workshop. 

Date: 25th of July 6 - 9pm and the 26th of July 9.30am - 12pm

Venue: QPIX, 22 Warwick Street, ANNERLEY Qld 4103

In the Frame: Legal Issues for Filmmakers
29th April 2015

FREE webinar. 11am 14th May

Creating a film is a collaborative effort. So in order to market and distribute your film, be it online, the big screen or in film festivals, the legal rights of all those who contribute to your film need to be considered. This webinar will explain the copyright basics all filmmakers need to know and how to clear rights and obtain licences to establish a strong chain of title for your film. 

July competitions reviewed by Arts Law
9th July 2014

Art prizes and competitions can be a fantastic way for artists to build their reputation and earn income but do you know what rights you might be giving up simply by entering? Arts Law rates prizes and competitions closing in July out of 5 stars for fairness to artists.

Layered like a good film
16th August 2012

The Arts Law Centre of Australia supported by Screen Australia, Screen Territory and Film and Television Association of the NT (FATANT) present a seminar covering 'law basics' for filmakers on Friday 7 September 2012. Alice Springs, NT.

May competitions checked by Arts Law
30th April 2014

Art prizes and competitions can be a fantastic way for artists to build their reputation and earn income but do you know what rights you might be giving up simply by entering? Arts Law rates prizes and competitions closing in May out of 5 stars for fairness to artists. 

New Film and Multi-platform Publications
19th September 2013

The Arts Law Centre of Australia has released several new film and multi-platform Information Sheets and Sample Agreements available for purchase and download.

SCREEN CREATORS: WHAT’S THE LAW?
6th May 2011

The Arts Law Centre, in partnership with the Media Resource Centre, is pleased to present a seminar on the legal issues affecting screen creators - 9 June Adelaide

Spotlight on the Artist: Anna Glynn
15th June 2016

We provide legal advice to a huge range of artists around the country. We're shining a spotlight on these artists and sharing their stories.

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.

Short film competitions: Producer’s guide

This checklist outlines the main legal issues a short filmmaker or produce should consider when making their short film. It is recommended for use short filmmakers who are entering their films into a short film competition.

Guides
Short film competitions: Producer’s guide

This checklist outlines the main legal issues a short filmmaker or produce should consider when making their short film. It is recommended for use short filmmakers who are entering their films into a short film competition.

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.

Other Organisations
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA)

CAAMA was founded in 1980 to expose Aboriginal music and culture to the rest of Australia from its Alice Springs media centre. CAAMA plays a major role in the maintenance of Indigenous languages and culture by the use of radio and television.

Classifications website

Provides information about the classifications system and how to apply for a classification.

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA)

The CBAA is the national peak body for community radio with a focus on building station capability and sustainability and creating a healthy environment for the sector to thrive. There are 450+ community radio services operating across Australia with a combined 5 million listeners per week. These stations play an important role in giving a voice to those not serviced by other media and supporting local arts and culture.

Film Victoria- Location Gallery

The aim of Film Victoria’s Locations Gallery Indigenous Map is to easily coordinate a consultative process between filmmakers and Victorian Indigenous groups. This map enables filmmakers to easily identify and contact specific Aboriginal groups to facilitate discussion surrounding areas of cultural sensitivity.

Indigenous Remote Communications Australia (IRCA)

IRCA is the peak body and resource agency for Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RMIO’s), which in turn represents over one hundred fifty remote and very remote communities that broadcast television and radio Australia-wide.

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)

The Alliance is the union and professional organisation which covers everyone in the media, entertainment, sports and arts industries. There are over 36,000 members which include people working in TV, radio, theatre & film, entertainment venues, recreation grounds, journalists, actors, dancers, sportspeople, cartoonists, photographers, orchestral & opera performers as well as people working in public relations, advertising, book publishing & website production. MEAA can provide information to members about minimum standard hourly rates.

National Film and Sound Archive

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is the nation’s living archive – collecting, preserving and sharing our rich audiovisual heritage.

Office of Industrial Relations (NSW)

Free publications to help employees and employers understand their rights and obligations under NSW industrial legislation. Has information about registering as an agent.

Screen Australia

Screen Australia is the key federal Government direct funding body for the Australian screen production industry. Its functions are to support and promote the development of a highly creative, innovative and commercially sustainable Australian screen production industry.

Screen NSW

Screen NSW aims to stimulate creative and business opportunities in the screen industry. Screen NSW has a leadership role in promoting partnerships across the sector and providing "more than money" in connecting individuals and organisations, providing information through regular industry events, and supporting a vibrant and informed screen community.

Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA)

SPAA is the industry body that represents Australian independent film and television producers on all issues affecting the business and creative aspects of screen production. SPAA members include television, feature film, animation, documentary, TV commercial and interactive media production companies as well as services and facilities providers such as post-production, finance, distribution and legal companies.

Screenrights

Screenrights is a rights management and royalty collection service for rights holders in film and television. It administers statutory licences that allow educational institutions (school, TAFE or university) and governments to copy material from radio and television.

ScreenWest

ScreenWest is Western Australia's screen funding and development agency, committed to working in partnership with the screen industry to develop, support and promote film, television and digital media production in Western Australia.