Case Studies

Bayside City Council Case Study: Advice on creating a best practice art prize

Aerial photograph of Brighton Beach and its bathing boxes in Melbourne
Photo by Josh Withers on Unsplash

Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (BAAP) is an annual prize and exhibition hosted by the Gallery at Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre, located in the Brighton Town Hall in Brighton, Victoria. There are 3 prizes to be won and each includes prize money: the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, the Local Art Prize and the People’s Choice Award. In 2015, the Gallery approached Arts Law for review of the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of the BAAP.

Arts Law will give best practice advice to an arts organisation where we think that the interests of artists will be served by assisting the organisation to develop a fair and balanced agreement. When rating competitions, Arts Law will look at the following issues:

  1. Whether copyright remains the property of the entrant;
  2. Whether permission is sought from only the winner/finalists or all entrants;
  3. Whether the licence is for a limited time;
  4. Whether the licence is for limited purposes; and
  5. Whether there is a positive undertaking to attribute the entrant.

Arts Law helped the Gallery to revise their T&Cs to reflect these considerations. For example, the Gallery amended their agreement so that they only ask shortlisted entrants for permission to produce their work for limited uses associated with the prize, such as in an exhibition catalogue and promotional material. It also limits this licence to 5 years. This is great because this gives the artist an opportunity to use their work in an exclusive relationship in the future.

Arts Law also explained that creators of works have “moral rights” to be attributed, the right against false attribution and the right of integrity. The Gallery amended their T&Cs to reflect this obligation and to make a positive undertaking to attribute the artists wherever the work is reproduced.

In terms of the winner, the Gallery had initially considered adding a clause to the T&Cs that the winner will be required to sign a separate licencing agreement after the fact. We explained that the Gallery cannot ask entrants to agree to something they have not seen. There is also a risk the winner will not sign once they have seen the licence agreement. Instead, Arts Law suggested including a clause in the T&Cs asking the winner for a broader licence to reflect the considerable prize money.

Arts Law was very happy with the final T&Cs developed by the Gallery and awarded it an outstanding 5/5 starts for fairness to artists!