Actors, musicians and bands often appoint agents or managers to act on their behalf. Visual artists often have a dealer who represents them. The manager or agent can enter into contracts that are binding on the person who appointed them (the principal). There are specific legal rules which apply to these agency relationships.
This information sheet explains what an agency is, how it is created, the authority granted to an agent, an agent's obligations, and the important terms of agency agreements. It also deals with any state legislation that applies to agents, managers and venue consultants in the entertainment industry. Bands and visual artists should also read the Music management checklist and Artist-gallery checklist.
Authors and Self-Publishing
With the rise of e-books and the popularity of self-publishing, there are now companies that offer self-publishing services such as editing, proofing, and design.If you're feeling like you want more information on the legal issues around this, this information sheet is for you.
This information sheet considers some issues you should consider before entering creative competitions.
Computer Game Design and Development
Creating games raises a myriad of legal issues. Learn how to protect rights and when to use our sample agreements Game Development Services Agreement, Game Loan Agreement, Music Commission Agreement for Games and Music Licence for Games.
Computer Games - legal issues for creative designers
This information sheet addresses legal issues that can arise when creating computer games, including the copyright in the various elements that make up a computer game such as the artistic works and the computer programs that operate the game. The discussion of copyright covers the use of ‘authoring’ programs and the need for games developers to have appropriate contracts with employees, independent contractors or unpaid volunteers.
Arts Law has a suite of agreements suitable for games design and development here.
Contracts: A glossary of jargon
This information sheet contains a list of some of the more common legal terms that you might come across in negotiations as well as words and expressions that may appear in an agreement.
Contracts: An Introduction
Contracts can be confusing to get your head around. This information sheet is an introduction to contract basics.
Contracts: Getting it right
This information sheet explains the requirements for a legally binding contract and discusses some contractual pitfalls, when terms are implied in contracts and the rectification of omissions of terms.
Creative enterprise hubs in NSW: Employment issues
Creative Enterprise Hubs are a way forcouncils, communities and local businesses to nurture creative, artistic and cultural projects and enterprises by giving them short term access to unused or abandoned spaces. This brings life and energy back to the area with resulting benefits to local business and residents. Both the body administering the Hub and the arts practices participating in the Hub are likely to work with employees, contractors or volunteers. This information sheet explains the obligations of businesses involved in Creative Enterprise Hubs to their employees, contractors and volunteers.
This information sheet is part of a suite of documents for Creative Enterprise Hubs.
Creative Enterprise Hubs in NSW: Overview
Creative Enterprise Hubs transform empty spaces into arts precincts by facilitating short term access for creative, artistic and cultural projects to unused or abandoned spaces. Hubs operate in temporarily vacant and low cost or free premises, providing artists and arts groups with creative space and bringing life and energy back to the area with resulting benefits to local business and residents. Arts Law’s suite of documents is part of Arts NSW’s Creative Hub Toolkit designed as a blueprint for councils, local communities and local businesses interested in urban renewal. This information sheet provides an overview of the legal agreements used to set up a Creative Hub and issues participants should consider.
This checklist is designed to help you, the maker, have better and more complete contracts with the people or businesses who commission you, and is a starting point for dealing with some of the key issues to be aware of when being commissioned to make pieces/works/designs for a client or customer.
Direct Licensing Guidelines
This information sheet is for small Australian record companies and independent artists that have an input agreement with the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). All record companies and independent artists that are PPCA licensors must have direct licensing guidelines that outline the circumstances in which they may directly licence public performance and transmission rights for their sound recordings. This information sheet includes sample Direct Licensing Guidelines. All PPCA licensors are entitled to free legal advice from Arts Law about their guidelines and input agreements. For advice, lodge a query here.
Disclaimers, exclusion clauses and risk warnings
This information explains the difference between a disclaimer and an exclusion clause in a contract and the circumstances when a risk warning should be used. It explains when you should use them, what they mean and the effectiveness of such clauses or statements in limit liability for injury, loss or damage. This information sheet should be read in conjunction with our insurance and liability information sheet.
Festivals – how to organise them
This information sheet provides an overview of the legal issues to consider when organising a festival and can be used as a basis for your business plan. It can be used in conjunction with our checklist, Organising a festival.
Entering a film competition creates a binding contract between the film maker and the competition organiser and it is important to understand the competition’s terms and conditions.
A number of funding options exist for film makers, including the “Producer Offset”/ “Producer Rebate” scheme, and private avenues such as crowd funding. Each of these funding options is explored in more detail in this information sheet. Arts Law has a sample Film Loan Agreement and a Games Loan Agreement which may be relevant.
Film Location Releases
If you are filming on private property or in a public space (such as a park or council land), you may need a film location release. This information sheet when and why a film location release is important. Information is also provided on which parties should be contacted to obtain film location releases. Arts Law has two sample film location deeds of release (with payment and without payment).
Music Copyright and Publishing for Bands and Recording Artists
Composers, lyricists, independent recording artists and bands that own the copyright in their music can derive income through the licensing and performance of their compositions and sound recordings. This information sheet explains music copyright and royalties, the role of collecting societies such as APRA/AMCOS and PPCA, and music publishing. Sample agreements that may be relevant include Music Recording agreements guide, Music Studio Recording Agreement for Unsigned Artists and Session Musician’s release.
Protecting your ideas
How to protect ideas and an outline of confidentiality law.
Public Art - Design and Commissioning
Public art commissions create exciting opportunities for artists, allow Australians to enjoy aesthetically beautiful environments, and stimulate community engagement with the arts. Learn how to get the most benefit to yourself as an artist, your council and your community.
This information sheet covers the most important issues that a person should consider and possibly address in a contract when engaging a website developer to create a website.
Writers and authors: useful resources
This information sheet lists resources, including sample agreements, which authors, writers and illustrators may find useful. It includes a brief description of the different resources available from other useful organisations.