Mosaics – Copyrights and Wrongs

Mosaics and copyright – what you need to know! As published in the Mosaic Association of Australia & New Zealand National emag – volume 11 August 2015.

Four things I wish I’d asked a lawyer… before I formed my band

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. 

Choosing an Online Sales Service

The emergence of digital distribution platforms gives musicians new options when it comes to getting their music to an audience. Here, we compare  some of the offerings available.

Downloading Is Out; Streaming Is In

It’s a strange thought for most that that there are music consumers out there right now who have never purchased a physical album, whether it is the ever-durable CD, the stylish vinyl record or the “sorry, my Datsun only has a tape-deck” cassette.

Collage as child pornography and the limits to the right to freedom of expression – Case note

Collage as child pornography and the limits to the right to freedom of expression- Case Note on Johnson v Yore

by Rowena Orr SC and Georgie Coleman of the Victorian Bar


Contemporary artist Paul Yore was charged with (and ultimately acquitted of) a charge of producing child pornography and a charge of possessing child pornography, as a result of his installation at the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art in 2013, entitled Everything Is Fucked 2013.  He is one of a small number of Australian artists to have been charged with a criminal offence as a result of their art, a group that includes Mike Brown, the artist to which Paul Yore was paying homage by the work in question.

This case note discusses the criminal trial of Paul Yore and the Magistrate’s decision:  Johnson v Yore.[2]  It focuses in particular on the issues the decision raises regarding the role of the right to freedom of expression in criminal prosecutions arising from artistic endeavours; the extent to which artificial images (such as collage) can constitute child pornography; and the authority of the police to excise images from an artistic work pursuant to a search warrant.

From Pantsdown to Kenny – Satire still at Large!

Satire and comedy are important tools used by artists, writers, cartoonists, comedians and political commentators alike to express their views while (with a bit of luck) making us laugh! 

The recent case involving the ABC and political commentator, Chris Kenny, focussed our attention on the relationship between satire and defamation and whether or not the courts have a ‘sense of humour’ when it comes to satire and comedy that impact on a person’s reputation. 

This article sets out some of the key issues that should be considered when creating a humorous or satirical piece, to assist people in assessing any defamation risk.

Copyright in the Digital Economy – Part 2: The submission of Arts Law to the ALRC Discussion Paper

The proposal to introduce a U.S. style ‘fair use’ exception to Australian copyright law produces a stark division between the supporters of an open-ended fair use exception and those of the opinion that the evolution of copyright exceptions in the digital environment should follow that path of narrowly defined fair dealing provisions.

Australian Law Reform Commission
Australian Law Reform Commission
Traditional Knowledge Licences and Labels

The Problem

While international treaty negotiations about problems associated with intellectual property (IP) and Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge have made headway, there are still problems that continue to be experienced by Indigenous individuals, families, clans and communities. It is necessary to focus on the development of practical, strategic solutions to very specific IP issues facing Indigenous peoples. One of these foci is how to deal with the ownership, access and control of both cultural material that has been previously documented and recorded and now resides in cultural institutions worldwide. Another involves uses of those cultural materials by Indigenous peoples and communities for community-based archival projects, for cultural heritage preservation purposes, and for projects where Indigenous communities maintain a leading role in determining what cultural traditions and practices can be shared with audiences outside the community.

The Google Art Project, copyright and the future of museums

‘Are the artworks ours to give? Are they ours to withhold?’[i]

The Google Art Project (GAP) is a new development in the field of online museums. Unlike, for example, websites of individual museums, it allows users to view collections of visual artworks from galleries around the world on one online platform, searching by artist, artwork or collection. GAP raises important concerns for arts administrators; however as it is only in its infancy there is scope for the issues to be resolved over time and for GAP to make an enduring contribution to public access to, and education about, art.

[i]Peter Samis, quoted in Zucker, Steven and Beth Harris, ‘Why the Google Art Project is important’, E-Literate, 29 May 2012,,