31 May

Artists are winners thanks to Arts Law prize reviews

Arts Law is committed to advocating for artists’ rights, part of this work involved reviewing the terms and conditions of art competitions and prizes and giving them a rating out of five. Many artists rely on prizes and competitions to raise their professional profiles in addition to the cash prizes and other opportunities that come with winning an art prize. But artists shouldn’t have to give up their rights in exchange.

Our review looks broadly at the terms and conditions of a competition. In particular, we look closely at how a competition deals with an entrant’s copyright and moral rights and consider this in light of the prize. By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, entrants should be aware that they may be entering a legally binding contract.

If you are an artist thinking about entering a competition but you’re unsure about the terms and conditions or are concerned you may be giving away more of your rights that you’d like, submit a legal query and we can put you in touch with a lawyer to talk you through it.

Prize organisers can also contact Arts Law for best practice advice. Call (02) 9356 2566 or email us to see how Arts Law can help you implement artist-friendly practices into  your terms and conditions.

Arts Law considers all terms and conditions and also the value of the prize in reviewing a competition. An example of how Arts Law’s 5 star rating system might be applied to a competition based copyright and moral rights is:

5 stars: copyright remains the property of the entrant; finalists/winners only grant a licence for a limited time for limited purposes; there is a positive undertaking to attribute the entrant for their work.
4 stars: copyright remains the property of the entrant; all entrants grant a licence for a limited time (5 years or less) for limited purposes; no agreement by entrants to infringement of their moral rights (“moral rights waiver”)
3 stars: copyright remains the property of the entrant; all entrants grant a worldwide licence for an unlimited period of time for limited purposes; there is no waiver or limited waiver of moral rights.
2 stars: copyright remains the property of the entrant; all entrants grant a non-exclusive, worldwide licence for an unlimited period of time for unlimited purposes; moral rights waiver.
1 star: copyright remains the property of all entrants except for finalists who must grant an assignment of copyright or grant an exclusive, worldwide licence for an extended period of time for unlimited purposes; moral rights waiver.
No stars: all entrants grant an assignment of copyright or an exclusive, worldwide licence for an unlimited period of time for unlimited purposes; moral rights waiver.

However, a star rating may be higher or lower depending on the other terms and conditions.  You can read all of our prize reviews here.

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