16 May
MAKE Award Brand design by Stephen Goddard


This month, Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the MAKE Award in New South Wales (open to entrants nationally). Read the terms and conditions of this competition here

The deadline for this competition is 9 June 2023 at 11:59pm AEST

What is the rating?

Arts Law has awarded the competition 4 stars out of 5. Congratulations to the organisers, the Australian Design Centre, for their artist-friendly terms and conditions.  

How did Arts Law help?  

Arts Law reached out to the Australian Design Centre to make this competition’s terms and conditions even more artist friendly than they were. We were delighted that they took on board our suggestions.  

How artist-friendly is this competition?  

Overall, this competition is very artist friendly. The prizes are generous. Finalists work will be exhibited in Sydney, Adelaide and one other location — providing great exposure for the artists involved. The Australian Design Centre commits to respecting the moral rights of entrants, and requests a non-exclusive, (mostly) time-limited copyright licence from finalists and winners.  

Finalists’ and winners’ work must be available for sale at the exhibition at a price set by the artist, and the Australian Design Centre calculates the retail price by adding a 30% commission (plus GST).  

How do the copyright terms stack up? 

What is copyright?  Copyright is a bundle of rights that protect literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works (as well as films and sound recordings). These rights allow the owner of copyright to control the ways that a work is used. If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Copyright here 

The copyright terms in this competition are fairly artist friendly, but could be expressed more concretely.  

Copyright remains with the entrants, and finalists are required to grant the Australian Design Centre a non-exclusive licence to photograph their work for reproduction for “publicity, website, archival and/or exhibition catalogue or reporting and advocacy purposes”. The licence lasts until 31 December 2024, but is perpetual when it comes to “website, annual reporting and advocacy […] in relation to the MAKE Award.”  

The wording of the licence is a little confusing because of the run-on list of general purposes, but the limits are broadly fair and tolerably clear. For example, it is great that the licence is non-exclusive (leaving entrants free to commercialise their work in other ways), that it is limited to roughly one year for most purposes, and that the purposes for which the licence is perpetual are tied to the MAKE Award itself.   

In light of the exhibition opportunities and the substantial prizes, this licence is reasonable.  

Does the competition respect moral rights?  

What are moral rights?  Creators have moral rights when their work is used (i) to attribution, (ii) against false attribution, and (iii) to integrity, which means not having their work treated in a derogatory way. For more information, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Moral Rights here.    

We are thrilled by the competition’s respect for moral rights. The Australian Design Centre commits to crediting the artist whenever their work is displayed or used. The organisers also commit to not making any changes to the work without prior permission (or altering, modifying, destroying or doing anything else to the work that might compromise its integrity).   

What about Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property? 

What is ICIP?   ICIP is a broad term that covers all of the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture (including writing, music, performances, paintings, languages, sacred sites, stories passed down orally, and other records of heritage). If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on ICIP here.    

Arts Law suggested that the organisers should include terms and conditions addressing any Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) that might be embodied in the entries. We are thrilled that the organisers accepted these suggestions and included a process for respecting ICIP.  

The Australian Design Centre commit to attributing any ICIP in the works as requested by the entrant. They also commit to not doing anything that might be considered by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to be derogatory, degrading or offensive. There are additional protections for when a work displays the likeness of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.  

Other issues 

The Australian Design Centre have also taken a fair and balanced approach to transport, liability and insurance. Finalists are required to transport the works to the Australian Design Centre and insure them for that transit. The Australian Design Centre then takes over responsibility, committing to insure the works while they are in the organiser’s possession, touring between exhibition venues, and back to the finalists after the exhibition (if not sold).  

It is also positive that the terms allow entrants to submit their work elsewhere (as long as they have not been previously exhibited). If an entrant is selected as a finalist, they must decide whether to accept inclusion within 24 hours.  

The organisers will provide finalists with an Exhibition Loan Agreement. Based on suggestions from Arts Law, they have included key terms and details about the exhibition in the terms and conditions so that entrants can assess the benefits when entering the competition.  

What could they have done better?  

Overall, we are pleased with the terms of this competition, but the Australian Design Centre could have made the copyright licence a little clearer, for example, by expressing the permitted uses more clearly.  

You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.  

What is the MAKE Award about?  

The focus of the MAKE Award is “innovation in design and contemporary craft”. An artist’s entry must be a “representative example of the excellence of the Artist’s body of work, and further, it must demonstrate innovation and/or extension of the artist’s practice in technique or material.” 

An entry can include “ceramics, glass, woodwork, furniture, metalwork, textiles and fibre, lighting design and contemporary jewellery. It can also include other materials, functional or non-functional, and be free-standing, wall-mounted or suspended (with a weight limit for any work requiring suspension of 8kg).” The entered work “must have been made in the 18 months prior to entering it in the prize” and “in continuous ownership of the Artist”.    

The judging panel will select finalists in July 2023, who the website says will be notified by 11 August 2023. These finalists will be included in the exhibitions at the Australian Design Centre in Sydney, the JamFactory in Adelaide, and one other venue to be confirmed. The works must be available for sale at these venues.  

What prizes are on offer in the MAKE Award  

This competition offers generous cash prizes of $35,000 for the winner, and $10,000 for second place. All finalists will get the benefit of having their works toured and exhibited in Sydney, Adelaide and one other venue — where they will be on sale.  


Arts Law regularly reviews the terms and conditions of competitions and rates them out of five stars. Our review looks broadly at the terms and conditions of a competition. In particular, we look closely at how a competition deals with an entrant’s copyright and moral rights, and consider this in light of the prize.  Entrants should always take into account the possible profile-raising which may result from being a finalist or winner.  

By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, entrants should be aware that they may be entering a legally binding contract.  

For more information, see our free information sheet on competition conditions. Artists are welcome to contact Arts Law for legal advice on the terms of a competition. We also invite competition organisers to contact Arts Law for best practice assistance to make their terms and conditions fairer for artists. 

Please note: Prior to February 2018, Arts Law’s rated out of five stars only the terms of a competition which dealt with copyright and moral rights. Arts Law’s competition reviews are now more holistic, such that our rating out of five stars now reflects a broad review of all the terms and conditions of the competition. For more information see our website. 

Further Information 

Please email us at [email protected] to tell us about any competitions or prizes you think we should check.  

See more about Arts Law’s campaign to improve competition terms and conditions in the Prizes and Competitions section.