Arts Law Information Sheet

Filming in Public Places

This information sheet outlines the legal issues film makers should consider when shooting in public places, including filming live performances and public figures, whether they are filming or recording copyright material (e.g. graffiti, logos, music) and whether their film may be defamatory.

In this information sheet:

Download Information Sheet

Film makers and other artists utilising film footage in their works often want to shoot footage in public in order to capture a particular event or incident or as the whole or a part of their artistic vision. There are many legal issues that can potentially arise when a film maker or video or multimedia artist decides to film or record in public. Film makers should also read our information sheet, Film location releases and our sample Film location deed of release (with and without payment).

Need more help?

If you have questions about any of the topics discussed above please contact Arts Law.


The information in this information sheet is general. It does not constitute, and should be not relied on as, legal advice. The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) recommends seeking advice from a qualified lawyer on the legal issues affecting you before acting on any legal matter.

While Arts Law tries to ensure that the content of this information sheet is accurate, adequate or complete, it does not represent or warrant its accuracy, adequacy or completeness. Arts Law is not responsible for any loss suffered as a result of or in relation to the use of this information sheet. To the extent permitted by law, Arts Law excludes any liability, including any liability for negligence, for any loss, including indirect or consequential damages arising from or in relation to the use of this information sheet.

© Arts Law Centre of Australia

You may photocopy this information sheet for a non-profit purpose, provided you copy all of it, and you do not alter it in any way. Check you have the most recent version by contacting us on (02) 9356 2566 or tollfree outside Sydney on 1800 221 457.

The Arts Law Centre of Australia has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Australian Government - Australia Council for the Arts