Artists should not have to wear the consequences when their works have been misused on sports jerseys.
With Indigenous Rounds and other initiatives becoming integral features of major sporting codes across the country, there are increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and designers to have their work put onto the jerseys, merchandise and marketing materials of clubs at a national, state or local level.
These opportunities are exciting for artists. Many are passionate supporters of their local team and jump at the chance to have their work worn proudly by their favourite players.
However, recently Arts Law has been approached by, and has advised, a number of Aboriginal artists seeking advice for the misuse of their artworks by sports clubs. This is very concerning. The latest example of such conduct involved Arts Law advising an Aboriginal artist whose artwork was used on a sports jersey beyond what was agreed and without payment. Worse still, the artwork had been altered without consent. We are pleased to say that with Arts Law’s assistance the matter was resolved and the artist received payment for the use.
If you’re an artist and you become aware of your work being used without permission, or if you’re approached by a sports club for use of your work, Arts Law can advise you on your rights. You can submit a query here.