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 those 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.
This month, Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the Women’s Art Prize Tasmania 2020 organised by Rant Arts Ltd (“Rant Arts”). Read the terms and conditions of this competition here.
The deadline for this competition is 31 October 2019.
Arts Law has rated this competition 5 out of 5 stars.
Arts Law made suggestions to Rant Arts to make this competition’s terms and conditions even more artist friendly than they were, and we are delighted that they took on board all of our suggestions.
The competition’s website states that this is Tasmania’s only female art competition with the goal of fostering the development of women artists in Tasmania.
Entries are open to Tasmanian emerging artists, being artists within the first five years of their arts practice, and identifying as female. The competition encourages entrants who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.
Entries can be of any medium, but no older than 12 months, not exhibited in previous awards and there is no set theme.
There are 3 prizes categories:
- Trawalla Foundation ACQUISITIVE PRIZE of $15,000. (The competition organiser, Rant Arts, keeps the winning artwork.)
- The Zonta EMERGING ARTIST PRIZE (non-acquisitive) of $1,500.
- The Bell Bay Aluminium PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD (non-acquisitive) of $3,000. (This is decided by a public online vote.)
All entries must be available for acquisition.
There will be 25 finalists whose works will be in a tour of three exhibitions across Tasmania, from which the winner will be chosen. (Note, the terms state that artists should ensure their works can be easily transportable.)
Copyright and moral rights
Congratulations to Rant Arts for excellent copyright and moral rights terms. They reflect a respectful and fair treatment of artists and their rights.
So how do the terms deal with copyright?
Firstly, it is excellent that all entrants retain their copyright, including the winner and the 25 finalists. Secondly, only the winner and the finalists (and not all entrants) are required to grant a copyright licence to Rant Arts to reproduce copies of their works. That is good. It is a non-exclusive licence which is what we like to see because it means these artists are free to grant licences to others. Further, it is great that the licence is limited in scope in that the reproductions of artworks must be for non-commercial or archival/historical documentation purposes and must be related to the prize. It’s fair and sensible that Rant Arts can make copies for these limited purposes.
The licence from the finalists lasts five years, which reflects best practice. The winner’s licence is forever, but that makes sense given that Rant Arts keeps the winning artwork – it is reasonable that Rant Arts might want to make reproductions in years to come of a work in its collection.
Turning to moral rights, we are thrilled to see Rant Arts making positive acknowledgments to:
- attribute artists in exhibitions, and whenever their work is reproduced unless unreasonable (which we consider fair);
- not allow changes to reproductions of artworks without first obtaining an artist’s consent; and
- not doing anything to an artist’s work that is prejudicial to an artist’s honour or reputation.
For emerging artists (defined as being artists in their first five years of practice), the prizes themselves are good ranging from $15,000 for the acquisitive first prize, to $1,500 and $3,000 for the two non-acquisitive prizes. Plus there is the touring exhibition across Tasmania which is great for profile raising. So the winning artist gets $15,000 in return for giving away his/her work, and licences which each of the prize winners have to give are limited – namely, non-exclusive and for non-commercial purposes.
It’s also great to see that the organiser provides insurance until artworks are collected.
Arts Law was particularly impressed with Rant Arts’ willingness to listen to our suggestions to improve its terms and conditions, which demonstrates its commitment to dealing positively with artists’ rights. Rant Arts was very receptive to Arts Law’s suggestions and engaged enthusiastically with Arts Law. Well done Rant Arts! We congratulate it on its terms and conditions which demonstrate transparency and a fairness and respect for artists.
You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.
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 of our website.