Artists often have questions about whether their work defames someone. This information sheet describes the law of defamation (sometimes called libel or slander) and explains how to minimise the risk of defamation and what the defences are if you are threatened with a defamation action.
The Australian Constitution does not expressly protect the freedom of expression and there are also limitations that can inhibit creative freedom in some situations, including defamation, anti-vilification, classification and censorship laws and the treason and urging violence offences.
Posting or publishing written work online, whether on your personal or artist website, on social media (including Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) or via a blog can create a number of legal issues including copyright, defamation or trade practices. This information sheet discusses some of these issues and should be read with our information sheet entitled Writers & authors: useful resources.
Film makers sometimes choose to base their stories on real events and real people. Documentaries are one example of film makers telling the stories of real people.