25 October

Arts Law reviews the terms of competitions closing in November 2013

Arts Law has reviewed and rated the terms and conditions of 13 competitions closing in November 2013.

3 competitions received a very positive 4 / 5 stars for fairness to artists.  All three competitions only ask exhibitors or winners for a licence to reproduce theirs works for limited purposes associated with the promotion of the competition.  A cap on the duration of the licence, for example 2 years, and a positive intention to attribute the artists would have led to each competition receiving a perfect score:

  • Rick Amor Drawing Prize 2014 – deadline 1 November 2013
  • International Songwriting Competition 2013 – deadline 4 November 2013
  • The Stanthorpe Art Festival 2014 – deadline 15 November 2013

8 competitions received a respectable 3 / 5 stars for fairness.  Under the competition terms, either all entrants provided a licence to reproduce their works for limited purposes associated with the competition OR only winners provided a licence which was for broader purposes.  However, none of the competitions restricted the term of the licence, but rather left it open-ended and thus arguably, perpetual.  If the competitions had limited the licence to finalists or winners, for specific uses associated with the promotion of the competition and for a restricted period of time, they would have received 5 / 5 stars:

  • EJ Brady Short Story Competition – deadline 15 November 2013
  • XXII Pasodoble Music Composition Contest – deadline 16 November 2013
  • Belle Arti Prize – deadline 18 November 2013
  • National Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 – deadline 19 November 2013
  • The Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize – deadline 28 November 2013
  • The Great Novella Search – deadline 29 November 2013
  • Sculpture at Sawmillers – deadline 30 November 2013
  • Ten Minute Quickies – deadline 30 November 2013

2 competitions received 2 / 5 stars for fairness to artists.  The terms of these competitions ask that all entrants grant to the competition organisers a licence to reproduce the entries for very broad purposes and with no restriction to the duration of the licence.  Arts Law would argue that such broad licences are unlikely to be necessary to achieve competition organisers’ desired outcomes, especially as it is unlikely a competition will still want to reproduce general entries ten years down the track for promotional purposes.  We would suggest the competitions consider limiting the uses and duration of the licences they request to only that which they reasonably require to achieve continued success with their competitions:

  • Montalto Sculpture Prize – deadline 1 November 2013
  • International Fleet Review 2013 Art Competition – deadline 10 November 2013

See Arts Law's competition star rating system for further information or call Arts Law if you would like to receive best practice advice regarding your competition terms and conditions.

See more about Arts Law's campaign to improve competition terms and conditions in the Prizes and Competitions section.